Think marijuana use, cultivation and possession of limited amounts of pot should be legal for adults 21 and up? Think you should be able to purchase some pot at a local, neighborhood store possibly right in the shadow of the nation’s capitol? You’re not alone.
The D.C. marijuana initiative has received the support of the local chapters of the NAACP and the National Organization for Women.
“Criminalization of marijuana has played a major role in the racial disparities and injustice in the criminal justice system,” said Susan Mottet, president of D.C. N.O.W. “D.C. NOW works to end all discrimination in D.C. and urges the voters to pass Initiative 71 to help put an end to this tool for discrimination.”
The groups announced their backing last week in a press conference along with Drug Policy Alliance. The proposal – Initiative 71 – would make the possession of up to two ounces legal in public for adults 21 and up. You can also grow up to six plants in your home with three in flower and sales would also be legalized through authorized retail outlets. There are no tax provisions due to D.C. law, but council members say they are ready to implement such measures should the bill pass.
Some have said that a recent move that decriminalized up to an ounce of pot in the district and made possession a $25 fine could prevent voters from coming out in two weeks, but representatives from Drug Policy Alliance say the bill is needed to curb the continuing persecution of minorities and people of color by law enforcement who use cannabis as means to an end. Despite the decriminalization, tickets are still written to minorities and people of color 77 percent of the time.
“The NAACP D.C. Branch strongly advocates to end the war on drugs, which has caused significant damage in our communities. Endorsement of Initiative 71 does not mean that the NAACP is pro marijuana, however, we view Initiative 71 as a step towards ending discriminatory drug polices.” said Akosua Ali, President of the NAACP D.C. Branch said in a DPA press release.
Live in the District? Get out and vote November 4 to begin ending the prohibition of cannabis. Don’t know where? Find out at the DC Bee.