Highest Support Ever for a Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiative
Campaign to Legalize Marijuana in Racial Justice Context Resonating With D.C. Voters
Today, a Washington Post/ NBC News/Marist poll shows support for Initiative 71, which would legalize marijuana, at 65% among likely D.C. voters. Initiative 71 allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana on their person at any time, and allows for the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants at home. District law prevents the ballot initiative from addressing the sale of marijuana. However, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which will tax and regulate marijuana within the District.
“D.C. voters want to take marijuana completely out the criminal justice system and refocus police priorities,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Voters are relating to the message that legalization will end D.C.’s rampant discrimination when it comes marijuana enforcement.”
D.C. has decriminalized marijuana, replacing criminal penalties with a $25 fine. However, data from the Metropolitan Police Department shows that 77% of all tickets have been issued in communities of color.
“This is the highest support ever for a marijuana legalization ballot initiative,” said Adam Eidinger, Chair of D.C. Cannabis Campaign. “It vindicates the work of this campaign so far, but we still have more work to do turning out the vote come election day.”