Melissa Lavasani is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Washington, DC-based Psychedelic Medicine Coalition, a national association committed to creating and protecting access to psychedelic medicines through advocacy and education on a federal level. Inspired by her own experience of a working mother using psychedelics to heal her severe postpartum depression, Melissa championed Initiative 81, the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act of 2020, which broke records as the largest ballot initiative win in Washington DC's history with 76% approval.
Through Psychedelic Medicine Coalition, Melissa educates lawmakers and advocates for policies that support research and safe, equitable access to psychedelics at the federal and state level. Melissa is also Founder and President of the Psychedelic Medicine Political Action Committee, a Founding Board Member of the Psychedelics and Healing Initiative at the Global Wellness Institute, and on the Advisory Boards of Drugs over Dinner and Universal Ibogaine.
Born in Washington, DC to Iranian immigrants, Melissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Macalester College, a Masters degree in Management from the University of Denver, and a Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University. As a devoted wife and mother, Melissa cherishes her free time, which she spends playing with her children, fly fishing, and showering love on her beloved pit bull, Gus. Melissa's bold leadership and unwavering commitment to this cause make her an inspiring force for change in the world.