Recent polling out of Washington D.C., which found that an overwhelming 75% of residents support marijuana decriminalization, has caused quite a stir, and built a large amount of excitement among advocates. The Marijuana Policy Project has announced that they could run an initiative in the city as soon as next year, and NORML’s Executive Director Allan St. Pierre let us know that he, as well, believed that to be the next step. Now, in an attempt to bring about decriminalization in a swifter fashion, Marion Barry and Tommy Wells, both members of D.C.’s City Council, have announced that they plan to file a decriminalization measure as soon as this summer.
“Absolutely it’s time we look at decriminalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia,” stated Wells, who is also a 2014 mayoral candidate, “It’s time we enter the 21st century and stop criminalizing people.. for what is not really a major crime.”
Although the measure would certainly face a challenge in the council, Wells and Barry hope to garner “6 or 7” cosponsors, and are optimistic about its chances.
In the meantime, activists are continuing to formulate a new effort in the district to get an initiative on the 2014 ballot to legalize marijuana, and the district’s first medical marijuana dispensary is set to open soon just blocks from the White House.