Draft Ballot Initiative – Please Leave Feedback!

DC Cannabis Campaign Draft Ballot Initiative Language

What do you think?

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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.

Letter to DC Councilmembers

Dear Councilmember:

The undersigned organizations call upon you to co-sponsor and prioritize passage of legislation that would eliminate all penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana under District of Columbia law. Residents of the District of Columbia are arrested for marijuana possession at greater rates than residents of any U.S. state and almost any U.S. city, and the District spends more per capita on marijuana arrests than any other state in the country.

We are appalled by the waste of taxpayer dollars, law enforcement resources and time expended on marijuana possession arrests in D.C., the onerous collateral consequences that follow an arrest, as well as the stark and unacceptable racial disparities in local marijuana law enforcement. We join many of our fellow D.C. residents in support of legal possession of up to two ounces of marijuana in the District of Columbia.

African Americans comprise just over half the D.C. population, but accounted for more than nine out of every ten marijuana possession arrests in 2010, according to MPD data recently analyzed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The overall marijuana arrest rate in D.C. has grown by more than 60 percent since 2001 and — even more disturbing — the racial disparity in D.C. marijuana arrests has widened by more than 75 percent during that period, from 4.1 to 1 in 2001 to 8.0 to 1 in 2010. Literally tens of thousands of D.C. residents – most of whom are African American or Latino – have been arrested for marijuana possession in the past decade.

The consequences of drug arrests and convictions are severe. In the months and years following a marijuana arrest, individuals with criminal records are denied jobs, rental housing, accreditations, loans and other means to achieve economic self-sufficiency and contribute to the tax base. Unable to pursue many occupational, educational and financial opportunities, people with criminal records are marginalized and left vulnerable to homelessness, untreated physical and mental illnesses, substance dependence, and exposure to HIV and other blood-borne infections. People, including young people, who use marijuana should no longer be criminalized or otherwise be penalized. Where legislation seeks to mandate education for young people about drug use, that information should be based on legitimate scientific and medical evidence.

An April 2013 Public Policy Polling survey found that nearly two-thirds of D.C. voters would support a ballot measure that legalized, taxed and regulated marijuana like alcohol. Nearly two- thirds would support a ballot measure that made possession up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use legal for adults 21 or older. 75 percent of D.C. voters expressed support for removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession. 54 percent expressed support for removing criminal penalties for possession of any drug.

California, Connecticut, Nebraska, Colorado and five other states have repealed criminal penalties for marijuana possession while two states are moving forward with taxation and regulation of marijuana like alcohol. Marijuana policy reform legislation is also pending in Congress and in many states at a time when national polling shows a solid majority of Americans support ending marijuana prohibition. We urge and respectfully request that you prioritize repeal
of all criminal and civil penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana in the District of Columbia.

American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital
Bread for the City
Drug Policy Alliance
NAACP Washington, DC Branch
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
START at Westminster