Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

New Poll Finds Overwhelming Majority of D.C. Residents Supporting Legalizing Marijuana


voteprime / photo on flickr

The D.C. area's first medical marijuana dispensaries–including one run by a rabbi–will open any day now, but the headaches don't end there for a Justice Department and a Congress that have heretofore ignored growing public support for legalizing marijuana. 

A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) and co-commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) found that 63 percent of D.C. residents support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, and that 75 percent of residents think the drug should be decriminalized.

In fact, no matter which liberalization scenario PPP presented–a $300 fine for cultivation with no jail time, a $100 fine for possession with no jail time, tax-and-regulate, unregulated legal possession for adults over 21, broadening the criteria for medical marijuana–a majority of respondents favored lessening or eliminating penalties for marijuana offenses. 

The poll results were so promising, says Mason Tvert, director of communications for MPP (and the brains behind Colorado's Amendment 64), that marijuana advocates in D.C. "will be talking to community leaders and elected officials about various options for adopting a more sensible marijuana policy in D.C., including the possibility of a [decriminization] ballot initiative campaign as early as 2014."

In 2011, the last year for which the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department claims to have data available, there were 5,759 marijuana-related arrests in the city, up from 4,445 in 2009, and 1,884 in 1995. 

NEXT: Sen. Manchin Says the Senate May Not Pass Gun Legislation

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  1. I thought DC residents voted on medical weed years ago and not only did nothing change, but the results of the vote weren’t even made public?

    1. The results are right there! See them? Right there, under the heavy heel of a jackboot.

    2. Oh yeah. During good ol’ “I Didn’t Inhale”‘s administration

      1. (I was living in DC at the time. I guess I voted on this, but I don’t remember. Maybe I was high.)

        1. That vote was right before I moved into the district. From 98-2006, I don’t think I voted but once knowing full well my vote truly didn’t count. Now I’m in Maryland, where my vote still doesn’t count for shit. I’m starting to prep my wife for a move somewhere sane. BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GO! Somewhere where with decent* taxes, whete they don’t ban guns, don’t ban pit bulls, with no major hurricanes, landslides, earthquakes, tornados or without 8 months of winter (or 8 months of rain) etc.

          *is there a SLD regarding taxes? Whatever. SL tax D.

          1. I was going to suggest Montana until your “without 8 months of winter” stipulation.

            Montana… come for the fly fishing… stay for the snow shoveling.

            It has snowed every day for the last 6 days here. Thank god there’s only two months of winter left.

            1. Funny shit! Yeah, I may have revisit some of my “requirements.”

            2. it’s been summer in Louisiana for three years now.

              1. The fishing is better in LA than Montana too.

                1. Depends on what you consider fishing. By my definition LA has NO fishing, but I’m an uptight, trout catching, pipe smoking, tweed hat wearing, dry fly purist.

                  I mean, I’m truly better than you. 🙂

                  1. Trout are properly caught on ultra-lighweight spinning tackle. Corn often works better than those effete dry flies.

                    1. UGHHH!

                      *shakes head in disgust

            3. The winters up there are a double edged sword. They are fucking awful. So awful that unless you grew up there or somewhere similar like Alaska or Minnesota, you are unlikely to last more than a year. But, it does cut down on the Californian progtard invasion.

              I would love to live there. But I am unsure if I could really do the winters.

              1. Na. The Californians still come. When they can’t hack the winters they either outright leave or become snowbirds.

                Best case is they just leave, but getting rid of them 9 months of the year (i.e. the winter) is better than having them here year round.

                1. My uncle lived up there for years. He said it was paradise the three months of the year it wasn’t winter. I like winter I think I could do it. But my wife is too in love with the city I think to ever do it.

            4. Right!

              from Juneau, Alaska.

            5. south central and south eastern Montana typically only have 6 months of winter.

              1. Look you guys really need to embrace the californians and reeducate them.
                Some of them might be salvagable.

          2. West Texas or Arizona, maybe.

          3. Other than winter, New Hampshire fits the bill. Even though I grew up in VT and have many friends there, I would move to NH in a heartbeat of the opportunity presented itself.

            1. I like it up there a lot Kristen. I could do New Hampshire.

          4. Somewhere where with decent* taxes, whete they don’t ban guns, don’t ban pit bulls, with no major hurricanes, landslides, earthquakes, tornados or without 8 months of winter (or 8 months of rain) etc.

            You live in Maryland now? Uh there’s this place right across the river that fits that description. For now anyway. All the Murrilanders moving here is fucking it up pretty good.

            1. Aye-ffirmative. I made the mistake of moving from VA to MD. Talk about culture shock. First thing that happened was a visit from the sherriff for playing with large sparklers on the 4th. Sparklers are illegal? Yowsah!

              VA may not qualify completely under the “sane” requirement (we did elect Cuccinelli AG), but it’s sure a lot closer than the land of Mary. Having said that, Marylanders are not welcome to move to VA until they learn to get the hell out of the left hand lane.

          5. The Boise area of ID is a great place. And south of the city is technically desert, so the winters aren’t too bad.

          6. Ohio and Indian don’t, so far as I can tell, have any major weather events. Kentucky might be a good fit too.

            1. I hated Ohio. Dark, cold, wet winters. I’d rather 30 below with 20% humidity than 30 above with 90% humidity.

              I think Ohio is actually considered inside tornado alley (or parts of it).

          7. Winters in Colorado are long, but not brutal.

            Sadly, it would seem that Denver is slowly becoming a hive of progtards as bad as any in California.

            Seriously, California, you need to stop this shit.

            1. They really do live that old Heinlein quote about bad luck. They destroy the economy of California. So they move to Colorado and vote for the same things that killed California. It is like they think “well California just has bad luck. Lets move to Colorado. They seem to have better luck there”.

          8. Uhm, Arizona?

            1. Good points, all.

  2. It doesn’t matter what a majority of voters wants on a subject unless it’s a high interest one (NO PUN INTENDED). Weed is down on the list. In fact, things relating to personal liberty always seem to be down on the list.

  3. a majority of respondents favored lessening or eliminating penalties for marijuana offenses.

    Cosmotarian = support taxing and regulating marijuana

    (Almost) libertarian = unregulated legal possession for adults over 21

    Perhaps this makes certain definitions more clear.

    1. That is the problem with all of this. They are going to regulate it to such a point that it really won’t make much difference. Look, technically morphine is “legal”. You just need a prescription. I fail to see how making pot as legal as morphine is much of an improvement. I am starting to think medical marijuana was a mistake. It is just going to be a dead end that wastes resources and then kills the movement after it is “achieved”.

      1. I don’t live in a medical MJ state, but I’m under the impression that a MJ prescription is far easier to get than a morphine prescription.

        Perfect? Hell no, but far better than what we currently have.

        1. Those prescriptions will be real easy to get right up until the DEA decides to crack down on joint mills. You watch.

          1. They already raid medical dispensaries. Even if they start raiding more, it still seems better than the status quo.

            1. I think it is worse. At least in the status quo you know what you are doing is illegal and understand the risks of using. Under the dispensary system, you end up catching a bunch of people who thought what they were doing was legal.

      2. It is just going to be a dead end that wastes resources and then kills the movement after it is “achieved”.


    2. Wow! No Cato sucks? I’ll take taxed weed over what we have now any day of the week and 6 times on Sunday. . Call me Cosmo or whatever you want.

      You can have your fucking purity test right up your ass.

      “No! It’s not perfect! No!”

      1. Taxed is okay. Hell we have taxed alcohol and I have no problem with that. It is the regulated part. If you have to have a prescription, then pot is really not very legal is it? And also medical marijuana just reinforces the bullshit idea that drugs can only be used when top men think it is for your own good. Fuck that.

        1. I’m with you on the medical aspect. I always assumed regulated meant more 21 or older or 18 or older. I’m okay with not selling weed to 15-year-olds.

          1. Besides if the 15-year-old kid was high, how would he polish my monocle?!

            1. I’m not ok with criminalization from the arbitrarily high age limit. 16 used to be considered appropriate some decades ago, now it’s 21 to drink and a serious crime–felony, child endangerment, whatever–to give or make available for a 20 year old “child”. Heck for the purposes of insurance or other stats, we’re children until 24. Compare with Germany (and some other countries), where it’s perfectly legal to buy beer for say, your 14 y.o. brother to drink at McDonalds, and legal for a 16 y.o. to buy it himself. Society hasn’t imploded so far from that bit of freedom

          2. I agree with you there. Make it over 18 or over 21, whatever.

            1. 21 was stipulated in the poll’s unregulated category.

        2. Thing is, medical THC is available in every state as far as I know (my Ma takes a ton of it). So, making medical weed available is not really that much of a big leap.

      2. RTFA the DC poll shows majority support for taxed and regulated OR unregulated legal possession.

        Needless to say, DC is a very liberal city yet still there is majority support for legal unregulated marijuana. Which scenario would you prefer?

    3. Cosmotarian = support taxing and regulating marijuana when the alternative is the Drug War police state.

      You purists would have prohibition still in place.

      1. RTFA

        A majority of liberal DC approves of legal unregulated marijuana possession. Why begin the fight by conceding tax and regulation?

        1. That’s the right attitude. The Left wins because they have to be dragged to the compromise table. They always demand what they want, they only begrudgingly allow incremental shifts, and their grand compromise deals are always loaded with poison pills.

          Demand unregulated weed, and be willing to settle for taxation and regulation. Don’t concede the argument before it begins.

          1. That is part of the reason why I refuse to move from Maryland. The left wins also because they totally fuck over a place and everyone with any sense leaves. Fuck them. I like Maryland. I am sick and tired of these assholes running normal people out of every decent place.

          2. Exactly

            I’m a bit surprised PPP offered an unregulated category in the poll.

      2. Yeah, I wouldn’t say I “support” taxing and regulating marijuana, but I do consider it better than the status quo.

        It’s kind of like the sequester.

    4. You got it all wrong.

      Pragmatarian = supports taxing and regulating alcohol

      (Almost) libertarian = unregulated possession for adults over 21

      Yokeltarian = wants to smoke weed at church and orgies with barnyard animals

      Cosmotarian = wants to smoke weed at D.C. cocktail parties

  4. if marijuana gets legalized, CPS should have to answer for all the kids they took away from their parents because they we caught smoking a joint.

    1. My GF is ex-CPS. In her state mj use in of itself is not cause intervene.For those under control of CPS a drug test positive for marijuana only counts as a negative test.

      1. Apparently your girls friends doesn’t live in Florida or Louisiana. In those states, it’s enough to smoke marijuana and say wierd shit to the cops.

    2. We should a government structure where any criminal law that gets repealed or overturned in the courts result in automatic restitution for the victims demanded from agents, enforcers and supporters of the old law.

      1. Soooo never repeal any laws. That’d be the effect.

      2. We need Drug War Crime Trials like Nuremberg for Nazi bastards like Bill Bennet and Eric Holder.

  5. This will dovetail nicely with the massive new stop-and-frisk regime.

  6. Of course DC loves its weed. It’s not Provo.

  7. The point of this whole thing is to stop marijuana possession giving cops a reason to arrest people. That is really what it is about. Any change in the law that still gives cops the right to arrest people for possession, even if it is for possession without a proscription or without a tax stamp, is pretty pointless.

  8. So dispensaries are opening up soon? Will they just raid them and shut them down like poor old Capitol Hemp?


  9. Looking at the poll it appears slightly more people in DC support unregulated marijuana than a CO/WA scenario.

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