Press Release: The DC Cannabis Campaign Prepares to Fight for Ballot Access

February 24, 2014

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671

The DC Cannabis Campaign Prepares to Fight for Ballot Access

Attorney General’s Analysis Won’t Hold Up in Court

WASHINGTON, DC – On February 25, 2014, the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) will hold an administrative hearing on whether the DC Cannabis Campaign’s ballot initiative is fit to go before voters this November. Last week, DC Attorney General Irv Nathan released his analysis of the proposed ballot initiative and stated that his office was against the proposed legislation because he claims it violates federal law concerning the District’s ability to enforce federal housing laws. While the Attorney General’s opinion is not legally binding, if the DCBOEE sides with him, the DC Cannabis Campaign is prepared to take the DCBOEE to court to ensure voters have the opportunity to decide on this important matter November 4.

“The Attorney General’s legal analysis is just one legal theory designed to silence the will of the voters by attempting to throw out our ballot initiative,” says Adam Eidinger, chairman of the DC Cannabis Campaign.

“Under the proposed initiative, the District would be free to use the lease required by federal law and evict tenants who violate the terms of the lease, as well as regulate conduct made lawful by the initiative on property that it owns,” wrote attorney Joseph Sandler. “For that reason, there is absolutely no conflict between federal law and the proposed initiative.”

If the DCBOEE sides with the DC Cannabis Campaign and allows the ballot initiative to go forward, the DCBOEE will issue petitions for registered DC voters to sign. The Campaign will need to collect valid signatures from five percent of registered voters in DC, which amounts to nearly 24,000 valid signatures. In order to for the initiative to be put on the November general election ballot, the Campaign must submit the signatures by July 7.

“If the Board of Elections delays the initiative language approval, we’ll be forced to have a special election, which will cost the DC government nearly $1 million,” says Eidinger. “We’d much rather save the DC government the expense by allowing voters to decide the marijuana question during the general election.”

The DC Cannabis Campaign’s ballot initiative will permit District residents 21 and older to cultivate marijuana in their homes and allow residents to keep the marijuana grown at home for their personal use. The initiative does not permit the consumption of marijuana in public nor does it allow District residents to sell the marijuana they’ve grown. Furthermore, the initiative does not create a “Tax & Regulate” system similar to the successful ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington. The District’s Home Rule Charter does not allow District residents to create any taxing authority through the ballot box, but it does allow District residents to expand freedoms.

“Poll after poll has shown DC residents support legal marijuana. The DCBOEE should empower citizens to vote on this important issue,” concludes Eidinger.

Full text of the DC Cannabis Campaign’s ballot initiative can be viewed at


2014 Marijuana Legalization Initiative–Legal Analysis 2-19-14 (1)

DCMJ Letter to Ken McGhie 2 21 14 SENT

WAMU: Soap Maker Who Backed Pot Legalization In Colorado Supports Same Effort In D.C.

A California-based organic soap maker is putting big money into a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in D.C., following similar donations to initiatives that did the same in Colorado and Washington state.

David Bronner, owner of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, has donated $20,000 to the initiative, which was filed with the D.C. Board of Elections in January. If it makes it to the November ballot and is approved by voters, D.C. residents over the age of 21 would be allowed to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, sell one ounce at a time and keep three mature plants in their homes.

Continue Reading…

SOURCE: Martin Austermuhle, WAMU

Also See:
National Journal: D.C.’s Pot Legalization Initiative Gets Some Unexpected Star Power

Press Release: DC Residents Submit Marijuana Voter Initiative For General Election

January 15, 2014

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 – After soliciting comments from the public since October 2013 and working within the District of Columbia’s limited powers afforded to voter initiatives, the DC Cannabis Campaign submitted ballot initiative language on Friday, January 10, 2013. The campaign’s ballot initiative can be viewed at

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.

“We’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,” says Adam Eidinger who submitted the initiative. “Our initiative will restore dignity to a whole group of people living in the shadows, who’ve had opportunities denied for simply using marijuana versus other legal even more dangerous substances.”

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.

“Back 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,” says Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance. “We want to return this right back to the people.”

“Mayoral candidate and current Ward 6 councilmember Tommy Wells decriminalization of marijuana legislation is a good start for fixing DC’s unjust marijuana laws, “ says Piper. “The 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.”

When marijuana possession in DC is decriminalized this Spring, home cultivation will not be permitted and will remain a criminal offense. The campaign’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.

“We allow people to brew beer at home, so why shouldn’t we allow District residents the freedom to grow a few marijuana plants?” asks Eidinger.
For more information visit


Washington Times: D.C. proposal would allow ounce of weed, 6 plants per household

“Activists in Washington, D.C., plan to submit an initiative by week’s end that would put marijuana legalization on the ballot in the nation’s capital in November — making the city one of a handful of jurisdictions poised to ask voters to consider the issue this year.

The proposal that is expected to be submitted to the D.C. Board of Elections would allow residents to legally grow up to six marijuana plants per household and possess and transfer up to an ounce of the drug without penalty.

Submission of the ballot language is just the beginning of an arduous process that will require supporters, who have formed a campaign committee and recruited volunteers, to collect thousands of signatures and persuade voters to approve the measure.”

Continue Reading…

SOURCE: Andrea Noble, Washington Times

Also see DCist: Marijuana Activists Will Submit Final Legalization Ballot Initiative This Week

Draft Ballot Initiative – Please Leave Feedback!

DC Cannabis Campaign Draft Ballot Initiative Language

What do you think?

NOTE: Google Forms do not work on smartphones.

Thank you for your comments! We closed the public comment period on January 9, 2014. Below are the anonymous comments submitted by the public:

10/18/13 11:38 “6 plants is too many and would produce much more than 2 oz. of MJ. each plant would weigh more than 2 oz. You should make clear that MJ is in usable form and not to be considered if still on the leaf. plants should be limited to residence rather than the person. If 5 people live in a group home, if they all get to grow 6 plants, you got 18 plants.”
10/18/13 13:51 “The “”with 3 or fewer being mature plants”” language is very strange and makes little sense. In fact the smallest hydro units hold at least 6 small plants and I can’t imagine anyone using them for fewer. And vegetation and harvesting will all be done as a group. Also there’s much difference between the amount that can be produced by large plants and small plants. Many hydro plants are forced into bloom at 10″” high while large plants can reach 10′ even indoors. The quantity limit should be on the weight of buds combined or total height, not plant number if anything.”
10/19/13 20:28 Sounds good to me!
10/25/13 14:21 “i think this is a great cause! I think this will eliminate a few things in Dc, including less lock ups,more low income residents chances to obtain employment and other opportunites. After 1998, what was the real holdup? Isnt this just as important and fair as same sex marriage? i think so, so if i can help contact me!
10/25/13 14:47 I think this is great. We finally have a voice for the people. This type of movement will enhance a lot of things. These fines for posession of marijuana are really outrageous, and it’s time we take a stand. What time is better than now, especillay when you have a whole city behind you.
11/20/13 16:21 Why not age 18 or 19?
12/10/13 14:18 It might make more sense to change the age limit to 18. It’s where I, and many folks think it should be. Right now the precedent is 21, but if we change to 18 it might influence other municipalities and change the precedent.
12/10/13 14:22 So happy to be getting this email and hear of the progress!! Shouldn’t the bill clarify procedures for smoking and operating a vehicle? Washington Initiative 502 makes it clear that it’s illegal, and I’ve had friends arrested for simply sitting in their car smoking a joint.”
12/16/13 17:42 Looks quite good. As many protective measures as possible so no unlawful circumventing of your vision/purpose/proposal.
1/6/14 13:49 Marijuana is used as a means of calming and pain relief. I personally feel that marijuana has helped me with my manic symptoms in my bi-polar disorder. It also helps my anxiety disorder. Taking several anti-depressants and anti-psychotic have only helped to zombify and mummified me. They don’t allow me to engage in a normal life with daily activities. Marijuana has helped me to engage in society without feeling anxious and paranoid.
1/6/14 14:15 I think is great and reads well.
1/6/14 14:47 make sure it includes home cultivation explicitly so they can not deny what the people want! make sure it does not restrict people with prior criminal records for drugs from participating and make sure there is very little or no regulation other than marijuana possession, use, sale, cultivation and creation of food and concentrates will be legal for all adults over 21.
1/6/14 15:10 Para 6: property owners, ie, landlords, could restrict a tenant’s right to grow. DELETE!!!!!
1/6/14 15:55 Looks like we can kiss the days of going to jail for a gram goodbye with this legislation! The first step towards a more logical culture.
1/7/14 1:03 Great
1/7/14 10:13 DC residents should be free to grow their own marijuana!
1/8/14 10:17 Canabis should be legal. It is much less less harmful than alcohol and many prescription drugs
1/8/14 16:59 I read the ballot initiative and found it well written and composed . I support the ballot initiative in its entire form and agree that it should be ratified and immediately implemented.
1/8/14 20:51 It’s about time, please legalize marijuana. No more war on drugs, no more people having their records ruined for a lifetime for smoking a plant. Sick people needs it, mental patients need it and I include myself in this category, marijuana safe my life, it calms me down and stops my repetitive bad thoughts in its tracks. I have Maniac depression and I need Marijuana to snap out of hell or depression and mania. I’m a professional, I have a career, a house, I pay taxes and I love and trust this country. Do the right thing and legalize recreational use of Marijuana. Thank You.