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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

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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.