In D.C., thanks to Initiative 71 becoming law at midnight (EST), February 26th, those 21 and older can legally possess up to two ounces of cannabis – twice as much as authorized in Colorado and Washington – and can cultivate up to six cannabis plants, three of which can be mature. Smoking in public remains illegal, but has been reduced to a simple ticket.
Starting Thursday, February 26th, Initiative 71 will take effect in Washington D.C., legalizing the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, as well as the private cultivation of up to six cannabis plants. The measure will apply to those 21 and older, and smoking in public will remain illegal, though the penalty will be reduced to a simple ticket.
Initiative 71 was approved with over 70% of the vote in November, 2014, going a step further than the D.C. Council’s recent decriminalization of up to an ounce of cannabis. Initiative 71 didn’t legalize cannabis sales, though legislation was filed recently in the D.C. Council to do just that.
Initiative 71, which was approved with over 70% of the vote, will legalize the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, in addition to the private cultivation of up to six plants.
Although Initiative 71 didn’t legalize cannabis sales, legislation was filed last month in the D.C. Council to do just that. However, Congress has since passed a national spending bill which prohibits the district from spending federal or local funding implementing the legalization of cannabis. In response to this, President Obama included a change in his proposed 2016 budget which would allow D.C. to spend its own funding legalizing cannabis sales.
Though he’s legally prohibited from supporting the legalization of cannabis, U.S. drug czar Michael Botticelli – director of the Office of National Drug Policy Control – says that Washington D.C. should be able to implement its own laws using its own funding, even if that means legalizing the distribution of recreational cannabis.
“As a resident of the District, I might not agree about legalization, but I do agree with our own ability to spend our own money the way that we want to do that,” Botticelli said Friday during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.