Our mission is to create, protect, and promote safe, equitable access to psychedelic medicines through local and national advocacy.
Melissa Lavasani is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Washington, DC-based Psychedelic Medicine Coalition, the first and only member association focusing on advocating for psychedelics at the Federal, State, and local levels of government. Prior to founding Psychedelic Medicine Coalition, Melissa was Chairwoman of Decriminalize Nature DC and proposer of Washington DC’s successful 2020 ballot measure Initiative 81: the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act. Inspired by her own experience of using psychedelics to heal her severe postpartum depression, Melissa led the Decriminalize Nature DC campaign to the largest ballot initiative victory in the history of our nation’s capital.
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 a Founding Board Member of the Psychedelics and Healing Initiative at the Global Wellness Institute, on the Advisory Boards of Drugs over Dinner and Universal Ibogaine.
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. Born in Washington, DC to Iranian immigrants, Melissa currently lives in Northeast DC with her husband Daniel, daughter Lola (8), son Ramsey (5), and their rescue pitbull, Gus.