Washington, DC

How does your state measure up when it comes to establishing policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition?

Harm Reduction


Does the state permit access to clean syringes for people who inject drugs?

  • YES

Does the state have naloxone training & distribution programs available to the public at syringe exchange programs or other facilities?

  • YES

Does the state have a 911 Good Samaritan law?

  • YES

Does the state have legal methadone access?

  • YES

Marijuana


Are marijuana possession and use legal for medical purposes?

Is there a government-regulated distribution system for medical marijuana?

  • YES

More information on medical marijuana:

What are the criminal penalties for marijuana possession?

Criminal Justice


How many people are arrested for a drug offense each year? 

  • 210

What are the racial disparities in arrest rates?

  • Total population (2011): 42.4% white, 50.7% black.
    Drug Arrests (2011): 10.0% white, 89.5% black.

What happens to people’s voting rights when they become part of the criminal justice system?

  • Vote restored after: Term of Incarceration

Washington D.C. Takes Major Step Toward Taxing and Regulating Marijuana

Panel of Councilmembers Approves Legislation that Would Establish Licensing and Regulation of Marijuana in the Nation’s Capital

Council Acts Just Weeks After Nearly 70 Percent of D.C. Voters Approved Ballot Measure Legalizing Marijuana

D.C. lawmakers voted today in favor of legislation that would legally regulate and license the production, distribution and sale of marijuana in the District of Columbia during a meeting of the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which is chaired by D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At Large).

Contact:  Grant Smith, 202-669-6573 or Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

Voters Across Country Accelerate Unprecedented Momentum to Legalize Marijuana, End Drug War

Alaska, Oregon and D.C. Pass Marijuana Legalization, as California and New Jersey Pass Groundbreaking Criminal Justice Reforms

DPA: Election Solidifies Drug Policy Reform as Mainstream Political Issue, Boosts Efforts to Legalize Marijuana in California and Elsewhere in 2016

Voters across the country have accelerated the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war, with marijuana legalization measures passing in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., while groundbreaking criminal justice reforms passed in California and New Jersey.

Contact:  Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

Victory: Voters in Nation's Capital Legalize Marijuana!

D.C. Council Expected to Follow Voters’ Lead and Tax and Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Congressional Interference Will Prove Politically Difficult

According to NPR and USA Today, voters in the District of Columbia have approved Initiative 71, a ballot initiative that legalizes possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and allows individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. D.C. laws prevented the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, but the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill that would tax, regulate and strictly control the sale of marijuana to adults.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240

D.C. Council to Hold Hearing on Marijuana Legalization, Taxation and Regulation in the District of Columbia

Policy Experts and Advocates to Testify in Favor of Directing Proceeds from Taxation to Communities Harmed by War on Drugs

Hearing Occurs Just Days Before Voters Decide on Marijuana Legalization at Ballot Box 

D.C. Councilmembers Vincent Orange (D-At Large) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 3) are holding a joint public hearing today on legislation introduced in 2013 by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) that would establish a system which legalizes, taxes and regulates marijuana in the Nation’s Capital. Councilmember Orange chairs the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs and Councilmember Evans chairs the Committee on Finance and Revenue.

Contact: Dr. Malik Burnett, 443-821-0260 or Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

D.C. Marijuana Initiative Receives Major Civil Rights Endorsements from D.C. NAACP and the D.C. Branch of the National Organization of Women

Endorsements Come on the Heels of Recent Support from Local Chapters of the SEIU, D.C. Working Families, and UFCW

Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Releases Report on Collateral Consequences of Arrest

Today, the Washington, D.C. chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the D.C. Branch of the National Organization for Women came out in support of marijuana legalization and endorsed D.C.’s Initiative 71.

Contact:  Dr. Malik Burnett, 443-821-0260 or Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

D.C. Marijuana Legalization Initiative Receives Endorsement of Major Labor Organizations

D.C. Working Families, SEIU, and UFCW Endorse Initiative 71

Labor Groups Point to Elimination of Discriminatory Enforcement and Opportunities to Advance Worker Rights

Today, the Service Employees International Union, United Commercial Food Workers, and D.C.  Working Families endorsed Initiative 71, D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative. Initiative 71, which is on the November 4th ballot, would legalize the possession of up to two ounces marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allows individuals to grow up to six plants in their home. D.C. laws prevent the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, however, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which would account for such provisions.

Contact:  Dr. Malik Burnett, 443-821-0260 or Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

D.C. Council Votes Unanimously to Strengthen Record Sealing Laws to Relieve People with Prior Marijuana Possession Arrest

Advocates See Council Effort As Reminder of Marijuana Prohibition’s Costs and Urge Support for Initiative 71

The D.C. Council voted unanimously today in favor of a bill that would improve the process by which a person can seal criminal records pertaining to conduct that has since been decriminalized or legalized. The D.C. Council is expected to take a final vote on the bill in late October and it will then go to Mayor Vincent Gray for his review. (Laws passed by the D.C.

Contact: Dr. Malik Burnett, 443-821-0260 or Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

Washington Post/ NBC News/ Marist Poll Shows Support for D.C. Marijuana Legalization Initiative at 65%

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.

Contact: Tony Newman, 646-335-5384 or Dr. Malik Burnett, 202-683-2983

Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Washington, D.C. November Ballot

Drug Policy Alliance Kicks Off "Legalization Ends Discrimination" Campaign
 
Campaign Sets Stage for Washington D.C. to be First Jurisdiction to Legalize Marijuana in Racial Justice Context  
Today the Washington, D.C. Board of Elections ruled that Initiative 71, an initiative reforming D.C.’s marijuana laws, has enough valid signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot. One month ago, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign submitted 57,000 signatures, more than twice the number needed to qualify for the ballot. 
 

Contact:

Dr. Malik Burnett, 443-821-0260
 
Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

Drug Policy Alliance Details What Public Needs to Know About New D.C. Marijuana Decriminalization Law

Today is Day One for Far-Reaching Decriminalization Law in the Nation’s Capital

Persons Caught With Up to One Ounce of Marijuana in D.C. Are Fined $25 by D.C. Police Officers

Washington, D.C. – A far-reaching marijuana decriminalization law took effect in the District of Columbia today that replaces jail time with a $25 fine for the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. However, advocates emphasize that there is still more work to be done in the nation’s capital to reduce severe racial disparities in marijuana law enforcement by D.C. police officers.

Contact: Tony Newman (646) 335-5384 or Grant Smith (202) 421-5031

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