D.C. voters could weigh marijuana legalization in November

A marijuana activist group submitted 57,000 signatures to get marijuana legalization on November's ballot. Hatchet File Photo
A marijuana activist group submitted 57,000 signatures to get marijuana legalization on November’s ballot. Hatchet File Photo
While a decriminalization bill remains stuck in Congress, District residents may get the chance to vote on marijuana legalization in November.

The D.C. Cannabis Campaign submitted 57,000 signatures to the city’s Board of Elections on Tuesday, more than twice the amount needed to get the measure on the ballot.

The group wants to push a D.C. Council bill that would decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana a step further, allowing adults to legally possess up to two ounces of pot, WTOP reported. The move would also allow adults to grow six plants and share – but not sell – up to one ounce to anyone older than 21.

About 63 percent of D.C. residents support legalizing marijuana, according to a recent Washington Post poll.

Several Council members, including mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser, have signed the Cannabis Campaign’s petition, the DCist reported.

Under the bill that the Council passed in March, possession for up to an ounce of marijuana would come with a $25 fine. That’s about as much as a parking ticket and the smallest fine of any state except Alaska, which has no fine, and Colorado and Washington, which have legalized marijuana.

House Republicans, led by Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., blocked the bill from becoming law last month and proposed an amendment to keep the District from spending its own tax revenue on the measure. Like all D.C. laws, the bill has to undergo a congressional review period. It would have taken effect this month.

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