Every supporter of marijuana reform in the country should have their eyes on Washington D.C. where a signature gathering campaign has been underway. The signatures are being gathered for an initiative that would legalize marijuana in our nation’s capital. A victory in Washington D.C. would be a victory for marijuana reform nationwide, not just in Washington D.C..
Unlike state level marijuana legalization initiatives, the Washington D.C. initiative will essentially have two phases. Washington D.C. initiative are not allowed to affect tax revenue, so this initiative will remove criminal penalties for up to two ounces, and allow home cultivation. It would then be up to the Washington D.C. Council to approve a measure that would allow taxation of marijuana sales. Fortunately for legalization supporters, there are already at least two Council members that support such a proposal.
Not only do these Council members support taxation of legal marijuana sales, they took it upon themselves to help gather signatures for the campaign. Per Fire Dog Lake:
“Just blocks from Congress two members of the D.C. Council were out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon encouraging residents to help legalize marijuana locally. Council member Tommy Wells (D) told over a dozen signature gatherers from the DCMJ campaign that he is “behind them 100 percent” before they began canvassing door-to-door in his ward. It was one of several locations throughout the district where paid gatherers and volunteers were out working.”
The legalization campaign needs to gather roughly 22,300 signatures to qualify for the ballot. So far the campaign has gathered over 30,000 signatures, with roughly 12,500 of those being verified as being valid. July 7th is the cutoff date. The United States congress can override the initiative if it’s passed, but this of course would be a trampling of democracy that I don’t think Congress wants any part of right now.
Help force the United States Congress’s hand by helping support the campaign today. You may not live in Washington D.C., but you would still benefit from marijuana legalization in our nation’s capital. A victory in D.C. would be a victory at the federal level. Even if you live in Colorado or Washington where marijuana is legal, you should support the D.C. campaign to help speed up the process of federal reform.
Even if your state is voting on marijuana legalization this year (looking at you Alaska and likely Oregon), you should also support the D.C. campaign in addition to your state’s campaign. And of course if you live in a state that is not voting on marijuana legalization this year and don’t already have legal marijuana, then this is your opportunity to help a campaign. If you help legalize marijuana in Washington D.C., it will help speed up the process of federal reform, which will eventually benefit your state.