An initiative entitled the New Modern Day Cannabis Justice Reform Act has been introduced in Washington, D.C., to legalize cannabis sales in the district. The legislation would end prosecutions for the cultivation, sales, and consumption of cannabis. It would also prevent the use of cannabis as a ground for police searches and provide for the expungement of prior cannabis convictions.
The district legalized small amounts of cannabis possession and home cultivation in 2014, but not retail sales. For the measure to be included in the next elections in November this year, it still needs to be reviewed by the Election Council and then collect 24,835 valid signatures from registered voters.
While the collection of signatures has not yet started, the campaign nevertheless has a base of 40,000 potential signatories who have already declared their readiness to sign the project.
This initiative legalizes the possession, to the extent possible under current law, the consumption, sale, and purchase of cannabis and CBD products for anyone aged 21 years or older,” the bill says. “Where this is not possible, the initiative will make law enforcement and police prosecution the lowest priority.
The proposal also contains other dignified provisions like the requirement of having resided for at least 2 years in the district to be eligible for a commercial cannabis license, or the possibility for
under conditional release to obtain licenses.
We don’t want the market to be under the control of outside operators. It has happened before. They’re already there,” said Dawn Lee-Carty, executive director of the campaign, referring to the medical cannabis program in the district. There are a lot of people coming in from out of state, big financial interests coming in, and they are sweeping away the opportunities that people in our community might have.
Vertical integration would also be prohibited, to prevent companies from controlling several stages of cannabis production and sale so that the local industry would be more diversified and less exposed to the risk of monopolization.
Another unique provision would ensure that police dogs “previously trained to detect cannabis would be retrained to detect explosives, weapons of mass destruction and firearms to protect our schools, malls, mass gatherings, against foreign and domestic terrorism”.