Washington, DC: Marijuana Initiative Backers Turn In 57,000 Signatures For Proposed 2014 District Ballot Measure

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 8, 2014

    Proponents of a District initiative to permit the possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana by those age 21 or older have turned in 57,000 signatures to the DC Board of Elections. The total is more the twice the number of signatures from registered voters necessary to place the measure on the 2014 electoral ballot.

    District of Columbia election officials will meet in mid-August to certify the measure for the ballot.

    The proposed ballot initiative (Initiative Measure 71) seeks to remove all criminal and civil penalties in regard to the adult possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to six plants (no more than three mature).

    Nearly two out of three District residents favor legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by adults, according to a January 2014 Washington Post poll.

    Even if approved by District voters this fall, members of the DC City Council still possess the authority to amend the measure. Members of Congress could also potentially halt the law’s implementation. Federal lawmakers possess oversight regarding the implementation of all District laws.

    This spring, DC city council members approved legislation reducing minor marijuana possession offenses to a $25 civil fine. That ordinance is scheduled to take effect later this month. However, federal legislation seeking to undermine this measure is presently pending in the US House of Representatives.

    38 responses to “Washington, DC: Marijuana Initiative Backers Turn In 57,000 Signatures For Proposed 2014 District Ballot Measure”

    1. Evening Bud says:

      Could legalization really happen right in the belly of the beast? How would the politicos cope with that? Maybe a open their eyes a bit more?

    2. Julian says:

      From Washington State to Washington D.C.
      It’s never too late for living free.

      So the Republican controlled House is trying to undermine the D.C. City Council?

      Then the Democratically controlled Senate needs to hop to it, stop all the bull and pass those cuts to the DEA budget.

      With that and the way Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry is cornering himself into a political hot potato by blaming Obama with “boots on the ground” propaganda for the recent influx of child Drug-War refugees, I’m not sure how much more damage that Republicans can inflict on themselves this election season. It’s like watching the melting scene of the Wicked Witch of the West, and Tony Montana’s “Say Hello to my Lil’ friend” all wrapped up into a circular firing squad.
      And it’s not even November yet!

    3. The time is now. Our country needs jobs , money , and we need our right’s . Some like Marijuana some like alcohol , give us our right’s. Not to mention how our money is going to fund different economies while our’s goes broke. Keep our money here!

    4. latchkeykid says:

      sounds like a good time to start rallying the cannabist lobbyist crew and get to work communicating the great benefits legalization has brought to Colorado so far. The great number of states which have approved legislation for some research and utilization of CBD contents of he cannabis plants for epileptic seizures. There is a great difference between anecdotal conjecture and persons of our nation in great numbers exclaiming how it does help. And so what yes there are people using the medicinal card as a green light to use cannabis recreationally, ok so now there possibilies of being I carcerated have gone down and to a degree they don’t have to look paranoid over there shoulder for doing something they like to do. It seems to me those agains freeing cannabis are in full support of cartels and locking up more Americans for no justifiable reason. Do even 1/3 of you numbskulls speaking agsisnt freeing cannabis know when and why cannabis was made illegal in the first place? Do you really care or are you just spouting off at the mouth with the reefer madness syndrome you were contaminated with during your up bringing. How is it possible that “a plant” that has never killed a soul on this planet earth is harmful, dangerous, scary? Why are you so afraid of it? Because the cannabanoids combine with our endocannabanoid receptors and neurologically our brain connectivity is altered? Does your brain not get altered on many substances which are legal which can kill you? Which are dangerous and scary. People’s innocent lives have been completely destroyed due to the laws placed on cannabis. I hope we all continue to raise our voices for justice, reason, right and freedom. Unschedule cannabis for justice to the American people.

    5. Douglas says:

      (March on Texas) to end the probition on cannabis. I belive it is time to hit the road and march. Gathering regster voters singer to end cannabis probition in Texas. Could this happen. Would there be any one that would want to do this march. It would take 2 years of planing. Tell me what u think.

    6. Weed The People says:

      @ Julian
      ” I’m not sure how much damage more damage the Republicans can inflict on themselves this election season”
      Dude ! Really can u buy a clue?
      This Obummer administration is the most corrupt this nation has ever seen.
      VA scandal ring a bell? How about the IRS scandal ?
      Wake Up!
      Bueller ? Bueller?
      November 2014 election will be about change.

    7. TheOracle says:

      Politicians just need to realize that the progression toward legalization is going to continue and therefore they need to get out in front of the issue because too many people to catch and put in jail are going to continue to use cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

      It’s great that the Right is harping on Benghazi and the children entering the country illegally. It shows their concerned, which raises the question as to why they are not concerned with improving the human condition by legalizing cannabis, or at least removing the federal barriers. Same thing for Democratic prohibitionists such as Patrick Kennedy. They need to rid themselves of the twisted logic that keeps cannabis in Schedule I. The international prohibition needs to be simply ignored by the US government just as it’s being ignored by enough of the population to bring about legalization at the state and local level. When it comes to waterboarding and torture the US redefined, defied, international law and prohibitions, yet now people at the highest levels of government are wrestling with legalizing cannabis as a moral issue? Come on! What are you waiting for, Barry? For the Brits, Germans or French to say it’s okay and they’ll get the folks in Vienna to change the international language prohibiting it? Ain’t gonna happen till after the US has taken the reigns in hand and shown the stupidity of prohibition that the rest of the countries will follow the leader.

    8. TheOracle says:

      Oops. That would be “reins in hand.”

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      @Julian & Weed The People

      “The Harris amendment recently passed the House’s Appropriations Committee in a 28 to 21 vote, with 27 Republicans and 1 Democrat voting in favor of it.”

      The numbers always show that the Republicans are NOT friends of NORML. Don’t take my word for it; go back and look through the numbers presented with blogs on this NORML website. Time after time the Republicans stand in the way of reform. Mitt Romney said he would fight reform ‘tooth and nail’. With few exceptions Republicans obviously still agree. If you’re going to vote Republican, be damn sure that their candidate stands among the minority that supports reform.

      The people of DC are as capable of running their home turf as any of us. That’s called federalism, a seditious concept conservatives obviously don’t believe in.

      This Andy Harris guy is my representative in the House. He dances on his strings for his handlers with every opportunity. He answered my letters about medical marijuana by citing irreproducible studies from 30 years ago. He’s a PHYSICIAN! He answered my letters about recreational marijuana by citing the need to keep it away from children, then he concluded we need the same unregulated policies that have failed to keep it out of the hands of children for decades. It’s not surprising he’s now donned Bob Barr’s prohibitionist mantel.

      I’m not a big fan of conspiracy theories, but his irrational behavior seems to suggest some of the dark money behind him comes directly from the cartels. For some reason I just refuse to really believe this, I don’t want to. In the face of the evidence, I couldn’t tell you why.

    10. Ray says:

      What about “marihuanas effect on the degenerate races?”
      What about all those “white women who will seek sexual relations with negros?”
      What about all that “satanic jazz music?”
      What would our DEA founder Harry Anslinger say if we legalized the most dangerous drug on this great earth?

      I know what I would say to Harry, “Fuck off!”

      Harry was a corrupt racist scumbag. He did it all for the power and made a lot of people rich while many more suffered. People of color were a dime a dozen to Harry, African American, American Indian, Chinese, Hispanic, it didn’t matter. If your last name wasn’t Mellon, Hearst, DuPont, or Anslinger he didn’t give a shit about you.

      @ Norml – sorry to curse but when I have to buy street weed because of my battle with cancer I get pretty irate. Considering I qualify for all the hydrocodone I wanted I chose not to be a heroin addict and feed big pharm.

      @anyone reading this- vote this November for any political party you want but please make sure that politician is ready to remove marijuana from schedule 1.