Washington D.C. marijuana legalization ballot measure moves forward


Washington D.C.

The Washington D.C. Board of Elections Tuesday approved a ballot measure that would legalize the possession and cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and up. Supporters now have to have to finalize the language on the measure in the next 20 days and will begin collecting signatures after that to get the proposal on the November ballot.
The moves comes despite warnings from the Washington D.C. city attorney general that passing such a bill would force a confrontation with the U.S. Congress which must give final approval to any changes to D.C. law. Congress could block the law with approval from the president.

According to a recent Washington Post poll, the bill would probably pass if it makes it to voters by as much as a 2 to 1 margin. As many as 63 percent of D.C. residents say that marijuana should be legalized for adult use.
Still, D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan says the city shouldn’t allow the measure to move forward. He says that it will put the nation’s capitol into direct conflict with the federal laws and truly invite a fight.
Washington D.C. council is also currently working through a decriminalization proposal that makes possession of up to an ounce of pot a $25 fine on-par with a parking ticket. Cops wouldn’t be able to use the smell of cannabis as probable cause for a search. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says he will sign the measure.
The proposed legalization measure would not allow for sales of cannabis, which would remain illegal. D.C. cannabis activist Adam Eidinger says he would work towards legalized sales with council if the bill was passed.
If either the legalization or the decriminalization bill were to pass, they wouldn’t change the illegality of cannabis on federal property including the D.C. Mall and all other national monuments in the city that are under control of the U.S. Parks service.