What does that say about our nation, when Florida rejects legalized pot but our nation’s capital is for it?
In yet another blow to the United States’ decades-long war on drugs, the nation’s capital has legalized recreational marijuana, NPR and USA Today reported Tuesday night.
Washington, D.C., voters on Tuesday approved Initiative 71, which legalizes adult marijuana use, possession of up to two ounces and home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants for personal use. With 29 percent of votes in, 68 percent of District residents supported the measure, and 31 percent were opposed.
Under the measure, the sale of marijuana remains illegal, but the Council of the District of Columbia is considering a separate bill that would allow for the regulation and taxation of marijuana sales, similar to laws on the books in Colorado and Washington state.
And even though sales are not yet allowed, the passage of the law on the federal government’s home turf represents one of the largest symbolic shifts in U.S. marijuana policy since Colorado and Washington state legalized the drug two years ago.
Supporters praised the measure as a step toward resolving the racial disparity in the District’s marijuana arrest rates.
“The people of D.C. have voted in favor of ending racially-biased marijuana prohibition,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement Tuesday night. “The harms caused by the war on drugs are not fixed with this vote alone; the real healing begins with the D.C. Council developing a tax and regulate system which is based on racial and social justice.”