CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
DC Residents Submit Marijuana Voter Initiative For General Election
Passage Would Allow Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana
WASHINGTON, DC â€“ After soliciting comments from the public since October 2013 and working within the District of Columbiaâ€™s limited powers afforded to voter initiatives, the DC Cannabis Campaign submitted ballot initiative language on Friday, January 10, 2013. The campaignâ€™s ballot initiative can be viewed at www.DCMJ.org
The proposed initiative is currently being reviewed by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics for legal completeness. The campaign anticipates a public hearing next month. Once approved, the campaign will need to gather over 23,000 signatures from registered voters of the District of Columbia by this summer in order to make it on to the general election ballot in November.
â€œWeâ€™ve listened to the public for three months and worked with stakeholders to submit the most workable language that enshrines marijuana consumer rights, including limited home cultivation,â€ says Adam Eidinger who submitted the initiative. â€œOur initiative will restore dignity to a whole group of people living in the shadows, whoâ€™ve had opportunities denied for simply using marijuana versus other legal even more dangerous substances.â€
The Home Rule Act of the District of Columbia prohibits ballot initiatives from creating taxing authority, like those passed in Colorado and Washington, but the campaign believes that residents should not have to fear government repression for growing, consuming, and possessing marijuana in the privacy of their homes.
â€œBack in 1998, over 69% of District residents approved a medical marijuana ballot initiative that allowed the home cultivation of cannabis, but in 2010 the Council removed this right,â€ says Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance. â€œWe want to return this right back to the people.â€
â€œMayoral candidate and current Ward 6 councilmember Tommy Wells decriminalization of marijuana legislation is a good start for fixing DCâ€™s unjust marijuana laws, â€œ says Piper. â€œThe next step is allowing DC residents to grow their own supply of marijuana so they are not reliant on the illicit market. Ultimately, the city should tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.â€
When marijuana possession in DC is decriminalized this Spring, home cultivation will not be permitted and will remain a criminal offense. The campaignâ€™s ballot initiative seeks to change this and allow individuals to grow up to six plants inside their homes and a maximum of 12 plants in a residence.
â€œWe allow people to brew beer at home, so why shouldnâ€™t we allow District residents the freedom to grow a few marijuana plants?â€ asks Eidinger.
For more information visit http://DCMJ.org