Marijuana prohibition has been going strong in the United States since the mid 1930s. Two years ago, voters in Colorado and Washington paved the way for other states to put an end to the war on marijuana. Yesterday, voters in Washington D.C. joined the marijuana law reform movement.
Congratulations, District of Columbia! Fear of measly marijuana possession arrests is a thing of the past. A vast majority of voters supported Initiative 71, also known as the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014, with 96,113 people casting a supporting vote. That many people made up 64.62%, well over the necessary majority.
What exactly does this act change for residents of Washington D.C.?
Initiative 71 does not allow for retail cannabis dispensaries. However, now, adults aged twenty-one years or older may possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use. Of-age adults may also cultivate up to six cannabis plants in a personal residence with three or fewer of those plants being mature. Transferring up to one ounce of marijuana, without payment, between adults is also legal. As is, possessing and selling paraphernalia for growing, using or processing cannabis.
As of now, retail cannabis dispensaries are not permitted, but that may change. Last week, Councilmember, David Grosso, presented the portions of the bill that regulate retail sales to two committees during a testimony hearing. With such a large percentage of the population supporting marijuana policy reform, it may not be long before dispensaries are permitted in the district.
photo credit: Chicago Tribune