On Thursday, February 26th, the “Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014,” or Initiative 71 for short, will go into effect. Ballot Initiative 71 was approved by D.C. voters last November, allowing persons in our nation’s capital 21 and older to:
- possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use
- grow no more than six cannabis plants with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants, within the person’s principal residence
- transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older
- use or sell drug paraphernalia for the use, growing, or processing of marijuana or cannabis
–Summary Statement from Initiative Measure No. 71
While we wish legislative measures would begin referring to our favorite plant as cannabis, it is fantastic to see the citizens of our nation’s capital succeed in the voting booth. The language of Initiative 71 is very precise in keeping the sale of recreational cannabis illegal. Cultivation and distribution of cannabis with the intent to sell remains illegal, as this act focuses on possession for personal use . You are still not allowed to use any cannabis products in public.
Can Congress Stop Cannabis Legalization?
Washington D.C. voters approved this initiative in November, and it did not take long for the federal government to throw some weight around. In December, while drafting the 2015 federal spending bill, Congress included language that would seem to nullify the proposition. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sent D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser a letter on Tuesday asking her to reconsider moving forward with what Congressional language would consider a violation of federal law. Mayor Bowser plans on moving forward with Initiative 71, despite the strong warning from the Legislative Branch.