Now that we enacted Ballot Initiative 71 on November 4, 2014, many people still have questions about the status of marijuana in Washington, DC. Here’s the latest:
Ballot Initiative 71
- Ballot Initiative 71 was certified on December 3, 2014 and transferred to Congress on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
- Ballot Initiative 71 does not become law until the expiration of 30 legislative review days (approximately February 26, 2015)
- Ballot Initiative 71 is self-implementing, so no further laws or rules are needed to be passed after the initiative becomes law.
- Until Ballot Initiative 71 passes Congressional review and becomes DC law, possession of marijuana is STILL NOT LEGAL in Washington, DC and can result in a $25 ticket (see Decriminalization of Marijuana below)
- Until Ballot Initiative 71 passes Congressional review and becomes law, home cultivation of marijuana is STILL NOT LEGAL in Washington, DC and can result in an arrest
- Ballot Initiative 71 will allow DC residents 21 and older the right to:
- Possess up to two ounces of marijuana outside one’s home
- Grow up to 3 mature marijuana plants inside one’s home
- Allows growers to keep all the marijuana grown at home
- Give, but not sell, up to one ounce of marijuana to another adult
- DOES NOT allow anyone to sell marijuana because the Home Rule Act prevented us from putting a “tax & regulate” question in the ballot
- DOES NOT allow public consumption of marijuana. You can still get arrested for smoking a joint on the sidewalk!
Decriminalization of Marijuana
- The decriminalization of marijuana possession legislation passed out of the District Council on March 4, 2014 and after Congressional review became DC law on July 17, 2014
- Possession of marijuana is STILL NOT LEGAL in Washington, DC under the decriminalization of marijuana possession law. It makes possession of marijuana a ticketable offense (like a parking ticket) instead of an arrestable offense, but does not legalize marijuana possession, cultivation, or consumption
- The decriminalization of marijuana possession DOES NOT allow public consumption of marijuana. Public use can result in an arrest and confiscation of your marijuana
- Under the decriminalization of marijuana possession law, the smell of marijuana DOES NOT give police officers probable cause for search & seizure of your marijuana
- If caught with up to an ounce of marijuana, the police will take your marijuana and paraphernalia, and write you a $25 ticket
- Decriminalization IS NOT Legalization!
- Medical marijuana IS LEGAL in Washington, DC but only for patients that have registered with the DC Department of Health
- There are currently over 2,000 medical cannabis patients in DC who purchase their taxed & regulated cannabis from 3 dispensaries in Washington, DC
What about Federal Land in Washington, DC?
Approximately 21% of the land in Washington, DC is managed by the federal government, which is governed by federal laws, not local DC laws. This means Ballot Initiative 71, the decriminalization of marijuana law, and the medical marijuana law are not in effect on federal lands in Washington, DC. Therefore, possession of marijuana on federal lands such as Rock Creek Park, the National Mall, around the Dupont Circle fountain, and Malcolm X Park is still an arrestable offense.
Please join us as we work toward implementing Ballot Initiative 71: