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D.C. voters are likely to approve marijuana legalization initiative – Congress should not interfere with the democratic will

Oct 14, 2014 D.C. voters are likely to approve marijuana legalization initiative – Congress should not interfere with the democratic will

No sooner did Congress get out of the way of marijuana decriminalization passed by the District of Columbia city council than a ballot initiative (Initiative 70 – see text here) legalizing marijuana is likely to pass by a large margin this coming Election Day.

Initiative 71 does not go as far as marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state. For instance, the initiative does not legalize marijuana sales. Imitative 71 is particularly noteworthy for legalizing paraphernalia possession and sale for possessing, using and growing marijuana. The initiative permits a person to grow up to six plants, with no more than three being mature plants. The initiative also permits possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and free distribution of marijuana. On top of that, medical marijuana is available for purchase in the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia has limited self rule, and Congress has the power to block D.C. legislation during a sixty-day time window. I urge Congress to respect the democratic will of D.C. voters by not getting in the way of Initiative 71.

Thanks to the activists who have worked so hard and optimistically over the decades to liberalize the marijuana laws in the District of Columbia and the rest of the nation. This is a critical civil liberties issue.

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