WASHINGTON, DC– LEGAL – The DC Board of Elections revealed today that the DC Cannabis Campaign has submitted 57,000 signatures, more than double what was needed, to get Initiative 71 on the ballot. This initiative would allow adults over 21 to legally cultivate up to six marijuana plants (no more than three of which can be mature) and possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana.
The DC Council is concurrently weighing a bill that would tax and regulate sales, which, according to DC law, remain unaddressed by the initiative.
According to an ACLU report released last year, Washington, DC has the highest arrest rate for marijuana possession in the country, with blacks more than 8 times as likely as white to be arrested, despite similar rates of use.
“This initiative comes at a great time and in a great place,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “The District has one of the country’s highest rates of racial disparities in arrest and is right at Congress’s doorstep, where more and more political leaders from both sides of the aisle are beginning to follow their constituents in recognizing that drug policy reform is one of the most effective ways to address the problems of our current criminal justice system.”
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a group of law enforcement officials who, after fighting in the front lines of the war on drugs, now advocate for its end.