Washington DC’s Initiative 71 Goes Live Next Week
February 17th, 2015
Policy, Top News
Washington DC has been a battleground state for the cannabis legalization movement given its proximity to federal governing bodies. While the legalization of commercial marijuana production has been blocked by Congress, voter-approved Initiative 71 will permit adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces, share up to an ounce with others, and grow up to six marijuana plants (including three mature plants) in their homes.
In many ways, Initiative 71 mirrors the situation in Colorado before the opening of recreational marijuana retails. The government will not collect tax revenue and quality control will be more difficult, but consumers will have options other than the black market for obtaining goods. Law enforcement costs should also decrease significantly as police will no longer be able to arrest adults over the age of 21 for possession-related charges if less than two ounces are present.
The key difference between Colorado’s Amendment 64 and Washington DC’s Initiative 71 is that Colorado’s laws aim to prevent public consumption of marijuana by keeping it as a petty offense. By contrast, Washington DC’s laws appear to permit the public consumption of marijuana in businesses, assuming those businesses approve of the drug. These dynamics could open the door to cannabis cafes that permit smoking without selling.
Another important element to note is that it remains illegal to consume marijuana on any federally-owned lands. For instance, traffic circles or parks in the Washington DC area would be off-limits to marijuana smokers that could suffer grave charges if caught. These areas are amplified by the fact that Washington DC has a lot more federal land than states like Colorado or Washington State where similar laws apply.
In the end, Washington DC’s legalization will prove to be yet another interesting experiment with adult-use legalization in the United States. The success of the movement could make commercial adult-use legalization a possibility in the future, but any disruptions could lead to federal scrutiny beyond the borders of the district.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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