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DC Voters Want to Marijuana to Be Legal

  • Nov 7, 2014 | Gail Cole

 How many ounces is that?

It may soon be legal to light a joint in front of the White House.

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration.

Revision: it may soon be legal to light a joint in the White House.

Voters in the nation’s capital overwhelmingly approved pro-marijuana legislation on November 4. Initiative 71, the “Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014” would make it lawful for a person aged 21 or 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.

Before you strike that match, consider this: Initiative 71 must also be approved by federal lawmakers. With the upcoming changing of the guard, it’s anyone’s guess how this will play out.

The D.C. marijuana initiative is strikingly different than those that have been adopted in Colorado and Washington State, and the ones recently approved by voters in Alaska and Oregon. Other states that have legalized pot created “more or less the same policies that now apply to alcohol: private, for-profit production and sale, regulated and taxed by the state.” Indeed, many proponents of legalization in Washington, Colorado, and other states have validated legalization by pointing to the potential tax revenue windfall lurking behind the bong. What is being proposed in D.C., however, is more of a “grow and give” system. If the initiative is ultimately approved, selling marijuana will be strictly prohibited.

Meanwhile, jonesing citizens will just have to wait. Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier acknowledged that the people have spoken; “However, we need to recognize that the initiative cannot be immediately implemented” (Washington Post).

photo credit: r0bz via photopin cc

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.