PRESS RELEASE: Marijuana Prohibition Ends in DC as Initiative 71 Takes Effect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 26, 2015

CONTACT: ZACK PESAVENTO
(202) 420-1065
ZACK@DCMJ.ORG

Marijuana Prohibition Ends in DC as Initiative 71 Takes Effect

Ballot Initiative Clears Congressional Review Period

WASHINGTON, DC – The DC Cannabis Campaign marked the end of marijuana prohibition in the District of Columbia today as Initiative 71 completed a mandatory congressional review period.

“The marijuana prohibitionists were no match for our campaign’s strategy of legalization without commercialization,” said DC Cannabis Campaign chair Adam Eidinger, who formally proposed Initiative 71. “The sun and the rain are still free, and now our seeds are too.”

Initiative 71, which legalizes the possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal consumption, was enacted with over 70% of the popular vote on November 4, 2014. The new law was transmitted to Congress on January 13, 2015 for a mandatory review period of thirty legislative days.

Congressional leaders inserted a provision in an appropriations bill in December that sought to block the District of Columbia from spending funds on marijuana legalization. Although the measure could not retroactively stop the enactment of Initiative 71, according to a recent letter by DC Attorney General Karl Racine, it would likely prohibit District officials from taking further action related to marijuana policy. The DC Council is moving forward with its own separate legislation to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser rejected what she called “bullying” tactics by Rep. Jason Chaffetz yesterday. The Utah congressman has threatened Bowser and other members of the District government with arrest for vowing to uphold the new law.

The DC Cannabis Campaign is the official campaign committee for Ballot Initiative 71. The campaign is a project of residents from across the District of Columbia, Drug Policy Action, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

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Thank You Mayor Bowser, Chief Lanier, DC Councilmembers, AG Racine, and Congresswoman Norton for Standing Up for DC Voters

Today Mayor Bowser, Chief Lanier, DC Attorney General Racine, DC Councilmembers, and Congresswoman Norton hosted a press conference to defend Ballot Initiative 71 from congressional interference. Ballot Initiative 71 is set to become law tonight at 12:01AM, Thursday, February 26, 2015.

Below are the documents related Ballot Initiative 71 that were released yesterday by the Mayor:



WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARIJUANA IN WASHINGTON, DC

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 becomes law at 12:01am, Thursday, 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

  • 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:

PRESS RELEASE: DC Cannabis Campaign Undeterred Despite Congressional Attempt to Override Election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 12, 2014

CONTACT: ZACK PESAVENTO
(202) 420-1065
ZACK@DCMJ.ORG

DC Cannabis Campaign Undeterred Despite Congressional Attempt to Override Election

WASHINGTON, DC – The DC Cannabis Campaign castigated congressional leaders today for advancing a federal spending bill that threatens a marijuana legalization ballot initiative in the District of Columbia.

“We’re going to fight back against anyone who tries to overturn our election or roll back our rights,” said Adam Eidinger, who chairs the DC Cannabis Campaign and formally proposed Initiative 71. “The people of the District of Columbia have ended marijuana prohibition and we won’t be turning back.”

The ambiguous wording of the congressional rider has left its interpretation open to debate. Although congressional Republicans argue that the rider is intended to overturn the election, others say that a plain reading leaves the law in place.

“Under the alternative reading, Initiative 71 has already been enacted, is self-executing, that is no further D.C. funds or action are needed, and will take effect after the expiration of the congressional layover period,” according to a press release from the office of DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Although President Barack Obama spoke against the congressional rider through a spokesman Thursday, he was reported to have personally lobbied members to vote for the bill. Since the appropriations rider primarily targets “Schedule I” controlled substances, the administration could still support Initiative 71’s future by exercising the federal government’s power to reclassify marijuana.

Initiative 71 passed on November 4, 2014, with 70% voting in favor of the measure to legalize the limited possession and cultivation of marijuana.

The DC Cannabis Campaign is the official campaign committee for Ballot Initiative 71. The campaign is a project of residents from across the District of Columbia, Drug Policy Action, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

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PRESS RELEASE: DC Cannabis Campaign Declares Victory in Historic Ballot Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CONTACT: ZACK PESAVENTO
(202) 420-1065
ZACK@DCMJ.ORG

DC Cannabis Campaign Declares Victory in Historic Ballot Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – The DC Cannabis Campaign declared victory today on Ballot Initiative 71, which legalizes the limited possession and cultivation of marijuana. Supporters of the “Yes on 71” campaign gathered at Meridian Pint, a popular local restaurant, to welcome the election night results and prepare for the bill’s mandatory congressional review period.

“This victory is dedicated to everyone still sitting in jail tonight because of marijuana prohibition.” said Adam Eidinger, the Chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign who also formally proposed Initiative 71. “District residents have made their voices heard loud and clear. The road to justice won’t end on Capitol Hill.”

Hundreds of supporters convened at Meridian Pint, located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, to celebrate the passage of Ballot Initiative 71. District lawmakers have vowed to transmit the bill to Congress when it reconvenes in January. Following a mandatory 30-day review period, the bill’s provisions could go into effect as soon as March 2015.

The measure allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, give (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults, and cultivate up to three mature marijuana plants at home. The District Council is proceeding with its own separate legislative proposal to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana. Supporters of Ballot Initiative 71 spoke in favor of the DC Council’s legislation at a joint public hearing on October 30.

“The people of the District of Columbia have voted in favor of ending racially biased marijuana prohibition,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, the Vice Chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign. “The harms caused by the war on drugs are not fixed with this vote alone; the real healing begins when the DC Council develops a tax-and-regulate system based on racial and social justice.”

The DC Cannabis Campaign is the official campaign committee for Ballot Initiative 71. The campaign is a project of residents from across the District of Columbia, Drug Policy Action, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

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PRESS RELEASE: DC Marijuana Initiative Supporters Announce Election Night Party

PRESS ADVISORY
8:00pm–11:30pm EST, Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CONTACT: ZACK PESAVENTO
(202) 420-1065
ZACK@DCMJ.ORG

DC Marijuana Initiative Supporters Announce Election Night Party

Proponents of Ballot Initiative 71, which legalizes the cultivation and possession of limited amounts of marijuana in the District of Columbia, will hold an election night party and fundraiser to benefit the DC Central Kitchen. Starting at 8:00pm on Tuesday, November 4, supporters of the “Yes on 71” campaign will gather at Meridian Pint to watch the election results.

Ballot Initiative 71 allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, give (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults, and cultivate up to three mature marijuana plants at home. If successful, the bill will be transmitted to Congress for a mandatory review period after lawmakers convene again in January. Without interference, the bill’s provisions could go into effect as soon as April 2015.

WHO: Adam Eidinger, chair, DC Cannabis Campaign; Dr. Malik Burnett, vice-chair, DC Cannabis Campaign; Supporters of Ballot Initiative 71

WHAT: Election Night Fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen

WHERE: Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

WHEN: Tuesday, November 4 from 8:00 PM to 11:30 PM EST

The DC Cannabis Campaign, Metropolitan Wellness Center, Drug Policy Alliance, Students For Sensible Drug Policy, DC Brau, DC Central Kitchen, Capital City Hydroponics, E.F.F.O.R.T.S. (Employment For Former Offenders Receiving Treatment Services) and Meridian Pint are partnering to support the election night fundraiser. Attendees will be encouraged to make a donation to DC Central Kitchen or bring a canned food item.

The DC Cannabis Campaign is the official campaign committee for Ballot Initiative 71. The campaign is a project of residents from across the District of Columbia, Drug Policy Action, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

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New Campaign Signs Are Ready!

Want to help get the word out about Ballot Initiative 71? You can help the campaign by putting up signs around your neighborhood. From lampposts to your window, we want as many people as possible to vote FOR the initiative on November 4 and the best way to do this is putting up the signs in high-traffic areas.

To pick up campaign signs, first call 202-733-4640 and schedule a convenient time to pick them up at the campaign headquarters at 2448 Massachusetts Ave. NW. We ask that you call first so we can make sure your signs are ready before you arrive.

Poll Shows 65% Support Ballot Initiative 71


Source: Washington Post

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the NBC4 / Washington Post / Marist Poll, which asked over 1200 voters their opinion on Ballot Initiative 71, was released to the public. As you can see above, the poll shows that 65% of respondents support Ballot Initiative 71. This is the highest support ever polled for marijuana legalization ballot initiative! Click here to read the poll.


Watch the NBC Washington news segment on the new poll:

Source: NBC Washington


Also Read:

Don’t forget to vote YES on Initiative 71 this November 4!

New DC Cannabis Campaign Signs

::READ::

The new signs will be ready by the end of the month. If you would like one, please send an email to Info@DCMJ.org.

PRESS RELEASE: Ballot Initiative 71 Qualifies for November General Election Ballot

PRESS RELEASE
August 6, 2014

CONTACT: DR. MALIK BURNETT
(443) 821-0260 MBURNETT@DRUGPOLICY.ORG
TONY NEWMAN (646) 335-5384
TNEWMAN@DRUGPOLICY.ORG

Ballot Initiative 71 Qualifies for November General Election Ballot

LEGALIZATION ENDS DISCRIMINATION: YES On 71

First Jurisdiction to Legalize Marijuana in a Racial Justice context

WASHINGTON, DC — Today the D.C. Board of Elections ruled that Ballot Initiative 71 has enough valid signatures to qualify for November’s general election ballot. One month ago, the DC Cannabis Campaign submitted over 57,000 signatures from registered voters and needed 23,780 signatures to qualify.

The citizens of the District of Columbia hope to follow in the steps of Colorado and Washington by legalizing marijuana and polls show the issue is popular among District residents, with support above 60 percent. DC currently has the highest per capita marijuana arrest rates in the U.S. In 2010 black people in the District accounted for 91 percent of all marijuana arrests – even though black and white people use marijuana at roughly similar rates.

Ballot Initiative 71 allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana on their person at any time, allows adults to give (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults, and allows for the cultivation of up to three mature marijuana plants at home. District law prevents ballot initiatives from addressing the sale of marijuana. However, the DC Council is currently considering a bill that will tax and regulate marijuana within the District.

The ballot initiative builds on the work of the DC Council, which decriminalized marijuana this past spring. However, as data from numerous jurisdictions around the country indicate, decriminalization alone is not enough to change police practices. Colorado and Washington have seen precipitous declines in marijuana arrests since enacting legalization initiatives in 2012, saving these states millions in tax dollars, and, more importantly, eliminating the collateral consequences associated with arrests for marijuana possession.

“It is clear from the number of signatures the campaign was able to submit that the citizens of the district would like to have a say in reforming the marijuana laws of the District,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, Vice-Chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign and the DC Policy Manager for Drug Policy Action. “The policies of prohibition in the District have been borne on the backs of black and brown men for decades, by voting YES on 71, District residents can put an end to this failed policy.”

The announcement of legalization efforts come just two weeks after the implementation of DC’s decriminalization law, where preliminary data show that 77% of all tickets have been issued in communities of color. “It is great that we have decriminalized marijuana in the District of Columbia,” said Adam Eidinger, Chair of DC Cannabis Campaign, “Unfortunately, if we are going replace arrests with tickets, discrimination will continue, but voting YES on 71 eliminates the tickets and brings discrimination to an end.”

The DC Cannabis Campaign is the official campaign committee for Ballot Initiative 71. The campaign is a project of residents from across DC, the Drug Policy Action, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

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Video of the DC Cannabis Campaign Signature Gatherer Recognition Night

On July 1, 2014, the DC Cannabis Campaign hosted a “Signature Gatherer Recognition Night” at Patty Boom Boom. Listen to the people who collected over 57,000 signatures talk about the importance of passing Ballot Initiative #71.