We are pleased to share with you some cannabis reform history in the making. Today DC’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced the “Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act of 2018,” aka the “Sondra Battle Cannabis Fair Use Act,” which will prevent cannabis users living in federally assisted housing, in states with medical or adult use cannabis laws, from being evicted for possessing, consuming, or growing cannabis.
This federal legislation would not have been introduced had it not been for Ward 7 resident Sondra Battle coming to a DCMJ Planning Meeting and sharing with us the trials and tribulations she was forced to endure to live in a mold-free home. Currently, Americans in states with medical cannabis or adult use laws can be evicted if they are caught using, possessing, or growing cannabis. As a fibromyalgia patient, who instead of using opiates to control her pain opted for medical cannabis, Sondra’s property management company used the knowledge of her medical cannabis use as a means to not remove the toxic black mold in her home. “If you tell on us, we’ll get you evicted for your medical cannabis!”
Most cannabis reform legislation you read about concerns cannabis business interests and doesn’t effect the people you hear the least about- the poorest of our society. Today’s legislation is groundbreaking because it has the ability to affect millions of Americans and ensure they can choose a safer alternative to opiates. When this legislation is passed, it will ensure that low-income cannabis users are not treated like second class citizens any longer. Sondra helped open our eyes to why it is important that DCMJ continues to fight for all cannabis users, growers, and their families.
A huge thank you goes out to Congresswoman Norton, her staff (Bradley Truding, Benjamin Fritsch, and Trent Holbrook) for helping draft and craft this model legislation, and most importantly, to Sondra Battle, who helped draw attention to an issue hidden from so many citizens eyes.
+ Click here to read Congresswoman Norton’s Press Release
+ Click here to read Adam Eidinger’s Washington Post Op-Ed The D.C. residents left out of the ‘District of Cannabis’ that was published nearly one year ago
DCMJ Urges President Trump to Stop Sessions from Reversing Course of Legalization
WASHINGTON, DC — Legalization advocates DCMJ, the organization that spearheaded Initiative 71 that legalized cannabis in the District of Columbia, issued the following statement Wednesday regarding the Senate confirming Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as U.S. Attorney General.
Adam Eidinger, co-founder DCMJ stated:
“Despite all the damning evidence brought against him, the Senate today rubber-stamped colleague Jeff Sessions to serve as Attorney General in the Trump Administration. Sessions is a failed war on drugs zealot who has gone so far as to suggest that marijuana offenders deserve the death penalty. To say he is out of touch with the legalization wave rolling through the United States would be an understatement. Sessions is a threat to states rights, the will of the voters and the legalization movement as a whole.
“Conversely, President Trump is on-the-record with his support for states rights and medical marijuana, promising a hands-off federal approach to states with legalization laws enacted. We are hopeful that the commander-in-chief, along with leaders from law enforcement, the civil rights community and cannabis activists, will take the opportunity to help enlighten Sessions on responsible drug policy reforms.”
Nikolas Schiller, DCMJ co-founder, added:
“Senator Sessions statements earlier this year are quite clear: it is up to Congress to pass legislation that absolves him of the responsibility of turning a blind eye towards cannabis. The silver lining is that if President Trump keeps his campaign promises, Sessions will judiciously use taxpayer dollars on the Federal enforcement of cannabis similar to the previous administration. I urge Congress to take up legislation that will allow the new Attorney General to focus his time on more important issues facing the American people.
“But if President Trump wants to take cash out of the hands of international drug cartels and create millions of tax-paying jobs, then America’s cannabis community is a willing partner. If President Trump wants to overhaul healthcare and help veterans, America’s medical cannabis community is also a willing partner. Partnerships make America great, but until cannabis is fully legalized, the full potential of America is not being achieved.
“Looking at the 2016 Election and the eight states that passed new responsible marijuana measures in November, an interesting political trend reveals itself: cannabis polls high across party lines—independents, Libertarians, Green Party, Republicans and Democrats. The evidence of this can be seen in the 28 states and the District of Columbia that have already enacted sensible drug policy reforms. Americans are now looking to the President and Congress to change the laws nationally and replace them with more common sense approaches towards cannabis. You don’t have to be a farmer or a political scientist to realize that Americans want President Trump and Congress to act now.”
Please email Press@DCMJ.org with any follow-up questions.
The night before we head to the White House to Reschedule420, we’re heading to the basement of St. Stephens Church in Columbia Heights for our first ever Cannabis Campaign School. From 6:30pm to 8:30pm the campaign school will cover how cannabis advocates can run effective campaigns to change the laws and perceptions of cannabis in your community. Please RSVP on Facebook & invite your friends who are coming to DC!
WHO: Adam Edinger (DCMJ), Nikolas Schiller (DCMJ), Ken Bazinet (Collective Consulting, Former White House Correspondent for New York Daily News), Ellen Mellody (Collective Consulting, Former Obama for America Press Secretary)
WHAT: Cannabis Campaign School
WHEN: 6:30pm to 8:30pm, Friday, April 1, 2016
WHERE: Dining Room of St. Stephen’s Church – 1525 Newton St NW Washington, DC 20010
WHY: Learn skills to change cannabis laws in your community
Campaign School Agenda
- Opening Remarks- 10 minutes
- State of the Union – 15 minutes
- Creating a Continued Narrative/The Power of Social Media – 30 Minutes
- Break – 5 minutes
- Media Training Session – 30 Minutes
- Q&A Panel – Initiative 71 – Reflecting on a Winning Campaign – 30 minutes
Spread the word on Facebook!