DC’s activists led by Dawn Lee-Carty are pushing to legalize marijuana sales in the state, as the unregulated cannabis system ‘fails to address the problem.’
The proposed New Modern Day Cannabis Justice Reform Act was added to the ballot as an initiative to end the prosecutions on cannabis cultivation, sales, and consumption in Washington, DC. In addition, the Act would limit police searches on the basis of cannabis.
According to activists, the racially disproportionate enforcement in place allows the arrests in relation to marijuana, putting people at risk of contracting the coronavirus (Covid-19). Carty, the executive director of the campaign, said the Congress must consider the different cannabis climate for the safety of consumers and medical marijuana patients.
“Our goal is to push hard and to ensure that it is a different cannabis climate for the safety of the patient, for the economy, for those who run a participate and want to be store owners for cannabis, we should have access just like big moneyed interests have access without being washed out,” added Carty.
In relation to the November ballot, Carty said the Board of Elections scheduled to meet with the activists to determine whether the initiative meets the standard of the relevant subject. Currently, residents in DC don’t engage in direct selling of marijuana for recreational purposes. Licensed dispensaries only sell merchandise and provide cannabis as freebies.
This initiative will legalize the possession of marijuana for any person over the age of 21, allow its use, sale, and purchase, along with all cannabidiol or CBD products. “Where not possible the initiative will make police enforcement and prosecution the lowest priority. Reverting the law automatically the soonest date possible in the future,” stated in the text.
In the subject of selling marijuana, the proposal indicated a requirement for individuals to reside in DC for at least two years to obtain a business license. Individuals on parole are also considered eligible, stated in the measures.
Campaign executive director reiterated that DC wouldn’t want outsiders to take over their businesses, as this is already happening. The district’s medical marijuana program is an example set by Carty, stating out-of-state people are coming in to sweep the opportunities from the DC residents and communities.
Moreover, the provision also tackles about police dogs being out of the cannabis industry if selling and purchasing become legal. To clarify, Carty said that more than cannabis, police dogs must be retrained to detect explosives, weapons of mass destruction, and firearms.
“Dogs are trained to sniff marijuana, but meanwhile, we have bombs, we have school shootings, we have so many other things that are in play right now that I think that we should redirect the funding or dogs,” added Carty.
For the New Modern Day Cannabis Justice Reform Act to be included in the ballot, the activists must collect 24,835 valid signatures from registered voters in DC. Because this initiative is different from the campaign to decriminalize psychedelics, activists need to comply with the set requirements as the latter did.