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DC Marijuana Legalization Campaign Collects Enough Signatures


washington dc marijuana legalizationWASHINGTON, DC — In less than 75 days, the DC Cannabis Campaign has collected more than twice the number signatures required to place Initiative 71 on November’s General Election ballot.  However, the Campaign is alarmed that members of Congress may prevent District voters from being able to vote on the ballot initiative due to policy riders that were added to the District of Columbia’s 2015 appropriation budget.

“We are proud of our petition circulators who braved the heat to further democracy in the District of Columbia,” said Campaign chairman Adam Eidinger, “but I am very concerned that members of Congress will use their power to stop District of Columbia voters from being able to fully participate in the democratic process.  We deserve the right to vote on Initiative 71.”

With the citizens of Colorado and Washington state voting to legalize marijuana in 2012, the Campaign believes that voters of the District of Columbia should be afforded the same right to vote on marijuana legalization.  The appropriations rider introduced by Congressman Andy Harris (R, MD-1) on June 25, 2014 could prevent the District of Columbia Board of Elections from using its funds to print the ballots that include Initiative #71.  Worse, the policy rider may impede the District of Columbia’s decriminalization of marijuana law set to take effect mid-July and prevent any changes to the District’s medical marijuana program.

“Petition circulators are the unsung heroes of democracy across America,” says Eidinger.  Throughout the last two months the Campaign enlisted over 250 volunteer and paid petition circulators to canvass the District of Columbia.  Proposers of ballot initiatives in the District of Columbia are allowed 180 days to circulate petitions, but in order for Initiative #71 to qualify for November’s general election ballot, the Campaign was afforded only 76 days to circulate petitions.

After the circulating petitions are submitted to the DC Board of Elections on Monday, July 7, they will be reviewed by the agency’s staff to ensure the Campaign collected at least 22,373 valid signatures from registered DC voters. Once certified by the Board of Elections, and as long as the Congressional policy riders are removed, District of Columbia voters will have the opportunity to approve or reject the Initiative #71 on November 4, 2014.

“The decision of House Republicans in the Appropriations Committee to prevent the ballot initiative from going forward is an affront to the core of Republican belief against big government interferring in the lives of citizens,” says Dr. Malik Burnett, the DC Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “By attempting to keep in place the criminal penalties for possession of marijuana, Congress is saying that they want  more people of color to go to jail.”

The District of Columbia has the highest per capita, marijuana arrest rates for people of color in America.  Although studies show that both white and black people of the District of Columbia use marijuana equally, people of color are disproportionately arrested and subject to all the collateral consequences a criminal record creates.  The aim of the Campaign’s ballot initiative is to expand freedoms to District citizens and to help end the discrimination affecting all marijuana users.

The Campaign will submit over 55,000 signatures at 10am on Monday, July 7 at the DC Board of Elections, 441 4th St. NW, Room 250N.  Members of the Campaign will be available for interview at the Board of Elections.   The campaign will be honoring its petition circulators from 7pm to 10pm on Tuesday, July 1 at Patty Boom Boom, located at 1357 U Street NW.  The text of the ballot initiative can be found at http://www.DCMJ.org

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation


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Johnny Green


  1. Republicans are truly bizarre people, we have a republican governor who believes he can change gay people, and now come to realize it has been the republicans who have been pushing prohibition. I hope it shows in the polls and republicans get voted out. They want to continue the status quo even though marijuana prohibition has been a complete failure. I will never vote for another republican again.

  2. Not 100% sure, but I think that the districts were actually reworked recently so that Harris’ would have much less overall influence than it previously had. They basically condensed all of the strong Republican votes so that they would stop having to deal with them being total douches in state matters. It obviously didn’t work that well.

  3. Republicans preach they want smaller government but most will not change there opinion a marajauna reform. This means they can continue to arrest marajuana users so they can hire more police and prison guards creating a bigger government. The second thing to realize is they don’t like big government regulation not just laws but regulation interfering in there big fat corporate supporters. Republicans have always been about big money. Hey I agree neither party is perfect so I never vote for the party I vote for the individual and try to pick the person I believe the most. In marajuana reform and legalization there is thousands of jobs just waiting to be created. Millions of dollars in just sales tax and millions more in income taxes. Plus creating oxygen (green plants). Vote legalization vote for marajuana reform.

  4. They have the same mentality as those whom sent 14 year old boys and 60 year old men to die in a lose cause. It’s time we end this psycho pharmaceutical McCarthyism hive mind war on cannabis and hemp .Congress & Senate need to pass a bill legalizing cannabis and hemp nationally. This is no longer a criminal issue but a civil rights & jobs issue. The Reagan’s administration has costs this nation over a trillion dollars over the past 30years on a war on it’s citizens. Cannabis and hemp should be legalize and taxed , with all taxes from cannabis and hemp earmarked for college students education fund and k-12 students. And don’t cut taxes when we get a windfall from taxing cannabis and hemp. Legalization today, Legalize Cannabis tomorrow, Legalize Cannabis nationally forever!

  5. Someone in Harris’ district needs to send his name to Bill Maher for “Flip a District”.

  6. That’s awesome! When are we going to ride out like the rednecks did for that racist rancher and have our selves a good old armed stand off with Mr. Big Brother. LEAP is all for it once they hit a million strong, but why wait. I’m sure there are more than a million smokers out there. Stand up for your brothers and sisters executed every day across the world for simple possession. At least china and countries like them have the guts to kill us. Bullets to the brain on live tv. Fuck you mr Harris. Grow a pair and man up or sit the fuck down.

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