WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARIJUANA IN WASHINGTON, DC

Now that we passed 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

  • Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser says she wants to delay Ballot Initiative 71 until a “tax & regulate structure” is in place. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE! There is ALREADY a “tax & regulate structure” in place under DC’s Medical Marijuana Program!
  • Ballot Initiative 71 does not take effect until it has been transferred to Congress by Chairman Mendelson in January and passes a 30 legislative day review period (likely by March, 2015)
  • Ballot Initiative 71 is self-implementing, so no further laws are needed to be passed after the initiative is transferred and reviewed by Congress. Once the Congressional review period expires, Ballot Initiative 71 becomes law
  • Until Ballot Initiative 71 passes Congressional review and becomes 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
  • The DC Cannabis Campaign DOES NOT WANT the Mayor, Police Chief, or members of the DC Council to delay implementation of Ballot Initiative 71
  • 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 1,800 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 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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PRESS RELEASE: DC Cannabis Campaign Dismisses Obstruction Rumors on Initiative 71

PRESS RELEASE
October 20, 2014

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

DC Cannabis Campaign Dismisses
Obstruction Rumors on Initiative 71

Joint Public Hearing on October 30 to
Consider Complementary ‘Tax and Regulate’ Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — Supporters of Ballot Initiative 71 will speak at a Joint Public Hearing at the John A. Wilson Building on October 30 that is set to discuss a separate legislative proposal known as the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2014”. Although Ballot Initiative 71 would legalize the cultivation and possession of limited amounts of marijuana in the District of Columbia, it does not address the sale of marijuana due to existing restrictions on ballot measures. Advocates for the “Yes on 71” campaign will push back against reports that the DC Council might supplant the ballot initiative with its own legislation.

“There’s a natural complementarity to the two measures,” said Adam Eidinger, the chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign. “The ballot initiative will provide relief for private residents who continue to face fines and arrests under the current decriminalization regime, while the District Council’s legislation pursues the more complex task of taxing and regulating private businesses.”

A survey of likely voters in September showed 65% support for Ballot Initiative 71. The ballot initiative is subject to a 60-day congressional review period because it amends criminal law. The review period will need to begin once the 114th Congress is in session because the 113th Congress will not have enough time to satisfy the 60-day requirement following the November 4 election. If Congress does nothing, Ballot Initiative 71’s provisions will go into effect once the 60-day review period expires some time in the spring.

DC Cannabis Campaign officials are optimistic about the future of Ballot Initiative 71 following recent meetings with DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

“We expect the District Council to respect the will of the voters who want real marijuana reform,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, the vice chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign and D.C. Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. ”We feel confident that Ballot Initiative 71 will get a fair shot to pass unimpeded through Congress just like any other bill. Without interference, we could really see a sensible legalization policy go into effect this spring.”

The DC Cannabis Campaign is concerned that people of color continue to face disparities in the enforcement of penalties under the decriminalization law that went into effect on July 17. A Drug Policy Alliance review of records from the Metropolitan Police Department found that 77% of marijuana-related tickets have been issued in neighborhoods that are predominately home to people of color. White marijuana dealers were also found to be 20 times less likely to be arrested than black dealers in 2011 — the highest racial disparity of its kind in the nation.

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.

The “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2014” would establish a regulatory structure that permits private businesses to cultivate and sell marijuana and marijuana-based products to adults in the District of Columbia. The legislation, which was introduced by Councilmember David Grosso, also creates a special fund to collect marijuana-related revenues for dedicated expenditures.

The District of Columbia’s Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs and the Committee on Finance and Revenue will hold a Joint Public Hearing at 11:00am EST on October 30 in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

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.