The DC Cannabis Campaign has entered the home stretch in our circulating petition effort. So far we’ve collected over 45,000 signatures from DC voters, but we still haven’t reached our goal of 70,000 signatures. We hope you will help us reach that goal in the next week. So if you see a petition circulator in your neighborhood, please sign their petition!
Here are some answers to common questions people have asked the campaign’s petition circulators:
Q: I work for the government, can I sign the petition?
A: YES! Since the ballot initiative is non-partisan, you will not violate the Hatch Act as long as you sign when you are not working. This means if you see a petition circulator this evening while you are walking home after work, it’s your constitutional right to sign the petition. The campaign’s collected signatures from off-duty police officers, federal government employees with top secret security clearances, members of the military, congressional staffers, and even DC Councilmembers. As long as you are not “on the clock,” you should feel comfortable signing our circulating petition.
Q: If I sign this, am I going to be put on some government list?
A: NO! Your signature, address, printed name, date, and the ward you live in are not transcribed by any government agency. This personal information is required for the DC Board of Elections to verify that you are a qualified registered voter in the District of Columbia.
Q: Isn’t marijuana already legal?
A: NO! Unless you are one of the few DC medical marijuana patients, marijuana is still illegal to possess, consume, and cultivate in the District of Columbia. The DC marijuana decriminalization law does not take effect until mid-July and when it does, marijuana will still be illegal. Decriminalization simply removes the criminal penalties for marijuana, but if you are caught with marijuana the police will still take it from you, but instead of going to jail, you’ll get a $25 fine. Under Initiative 71, there will be no fine for possessing up to 2 ounces and you’ll be allowed grow a few plants at home.
Q: After marijuana is legalized, will I be able to walk down the street and smoke a joint?
A: NO! Although beer is legal, can you walk down the street drinking a beer? Nope. Our goal was to treat marijuana like alcohol, so with that treatment comes similar rules. You will be able to consume marijuana at home or at establishments that allow it- just like beer.
Q: I already signed the petition, can I sign it again?
A: NO! You only need to sign the petition once. If you really care about signing it again & again, maybe you should consider volunteering with the campaign so that you can get your friends and neighbors to sign.
Q: Now that I signed, what’s next?
A: The campaign will be turning in all the circulating petitions on Monday, July 7. The DC Board of Elections will review the circulating petitions to ensure that the campaign reached the signature threshold. Once the petitions are verified, ballot initiative #71 will be placed on the November 4 general election ballot and you will be given the option of voting YES or NO. We hope you vote YES!