On July 7, 2014, the DC Cannabis Campaign delivered over 57,000 signatures from DC voters to the DC Board of Elections in order put Initiative 71 on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Welcome to DCMJ.org, the digital home of the DC Cannabis Campaign!
Got questions about the status of marijuana in Washington, DC? Here’s the latest:
- Possession of marijuana is NOT LEGAL in Washington, DC
- The decriminalization of marijuana possession legislation passed the DC City Council on March 4, 2014 became effective on July 17
- The decriminalization of marijuana possession DOES NOT allow public consumption of marijuana. You can still get arrested!
- Medical marijuana IS LEGAL in Washington, DC but for only registered patients with approved medical conditions: AIDS/HIV, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis
The DC Cannabis Campaign’s Ballot Initiative 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
- Does not allow anyone to sell marijuana (DC rules prevent us from putting this question in the ballot)
Interested in helping? Please volunteer with the DC Cannabis Campaign!
DC Cannabis Campaign Collects Over 57,000 Signatures to Place Initiative #71
on General Election Ballot
Members of Congress May Take Away
DC Voter’s Right to Vote on Initiative
WASHINGTON, DC — In less than 75 days, the DC Cannabis Campaign has collected more than twice the number signatures required to place Initiative 71 on November’s General Election ballot. However, the Campaign is alarmed that members of Congress may prevent District voters from being able to vote on the ballot initiative due to policy riders that were added to the District of Columbia’s 2015 appropriation budget.
“We are proud of our petition circulators who braved the heat to further democracy in the District of Columbia,” said Campaign chairman Adam Eidinger, “but I am very concerned that members of Congress will use their power to stop District of Columbia voters from being able to fully participate in the democratic process. We deserve the right to vote on Initiative 71.”
With the citizens of Colorado and Washington state voting to legalize marijuana in 2012, the Campaign believes that voters of the District of Columbia should be afforded the same right to vote on marijuana legalization. The appropriations rider introduced by Congressman Andy Harris (R, MD-1) on June 25, 2014 could prevent the District of Columbia Board of Elections from using its funds to print the ballots that include Initiative #71. Worse, the policy rider may impede the District of Columbia’s decriminalization of marijuana law set to take effect mid-July and prevent any changes to the District’s medical marijuana program.
“Petition circulators are the unsung heroes of democracy across America,” says Eidinger. Throughout the last two months the Campaign enlisted over 250 volunteer and paid petition circulators to canvass the District of Columbia. Proposers of ballot initiatives in the District of Columbia are allowed 180 days to circulate petitions, but in order for Initiative #71 to qualify for November’s general election ballot, the Campaign was afforded only 76 days to circulate petitions.
After the circulating petitions are submitted to the DC Board of Elections on Monday, July 7, they will be reviewed by the agency’s staff to ensure the Campaign collected at least 22,373 valid signatures from registered DC voters. Once certified by the Board of Elections, and as long as the Congressional policy riders are removed, District of Columbia voters will have the opportunity to approve or reject the Initiative #71 on November 4, 2014.
“The decision of House Republicans in the Appropriations Committee to prevent the ballot initiative from going forward is an affront to the core of Republican belief against big government interfering in the lives of citizens,” says Dr. Malik Burnett, the DC Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “By attempting to keep in place the criminal penalties for possession of marijuana, Congress is saying that they want more people of color to go to jail.”
The District of Columbia has the highest per capita, marijuana arrest rates for people of color in America. Although studies show that both white and black people of the District of Columbia use marijuana equally, people of color are disproportionately arrested and subject to all the collateral consequences a criminal record creates. The aim of the Campaign’s ballot initiative is to expand freedoms to District citizens and to help end the discrimination affecting all marijuana users.
The Campaign will submit over 57,000 signatures at 10am on Monday, July 7 at the DC Board of Elections, 441 4th St. NW, Room 250N. Members of the Campaign will be available for interview at the Board of Elections. The campaign will be honoring its petition circulators from 7pm to 10pm on Tuesday, July 1 at Patty Boom Boom, located at 1359 U Street NW. The text of the ballot initiative can be found at http://www.DCMJ.org/ballot-initiative/
“Sixteen years ago, D.C. activists gathered signatures to let voters decide if the District should be among the first in the nation to legalize medical marijuana. Then Congress stepped in, and city officials were not even allowed to count the ballots that voters had cast.
Inside a rented house in Northwest Washington, behind a shaggy bear skin rug strung up as a makeshift curtain and amid rollaway beds set up for signature gatherers who have come from as far away as California and Colorado, there’s growing anxiety that history is about to repeat itself.
Organizers for Initiative 71, a measure that would fully legalize possession of marijuana in the District, plan to announce this week that they are closing in on 60,000 signatures — a comfortable buffer over the 22,600 needed to ensure the measure qualifies for the November ballot.”
SOURCE: Aaron Davis, The Washington Post