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Full Text of Ballot Initiative 71
|| 1/10/2014 || 2:47 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

UPDATE: Ballot Initiative 71 became law at 12:01am, Thursday, February 26, 2015


After months of review and numerous public comments, on January 10, 2014 the DC Cannabis Campaign submitted the ballot initiative to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics. After two hearings in February and March, on April 5, 2014, the DC Board of Elections and Ethics finalized the short title, summary statement, and the legislative text for Ballot Initiative #71:

INITIATIVE MEASURE #71
SHORT TITLE

“Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014”

SUMMARY STATEMENT

This initiative, if passed, will make it lawful under District of Columbia law for a person 21 years of age or older to:

  • possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use;
  • grow no more than six cannabis plants with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants, within the person’s principal residence;
  • transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older; and
  • use or sell drug paraphernalia for the use, growing, or processing of marijuana or cannabis.
LEGISLATIVE TEXT

BE IT ENACTED BY THE ELECTORS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THAT this act may be cited as the “Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014.”

Sec. 2. Section 401 of the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981, effective August 5, 1981 (D.C. Law 4-29; D.C. Official Code §48-904.01), is amended as follows:

Subsection (a)(1) is amended to read as follows: “(a)(1) Except as authorized by this chapter or Chapter 16B or Title 7, it is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to manufacture, distribute, or possess, with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, it shall be lawful, and shall not be an offense under District of Columbia law, for any person twenty-one (21) years of age or older to :

“(A) Possess, use, purchase or transport marijuana weighing two ounces or less;

“(B) Transfer to another person twenty-one years of age or older, without remuneration, marijuana weighing one ounce or less;

“(C) Possess, grow, harvest or process, within the interior of a house or rental unit that constitutes such person’s principal residence, no more than six cannabis plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants, provided that all persons residing within a single house or single rental unit may not possess, grow, harvest or process, in the aggregate, more than twelve cannabis plants, with six or fewer being mature, flowering plants;

“(D) possess within such house or rental unit the marijuana produced by such plants;
Provided that, nothing in this subsection shall make it lawful to sell, offer for sale or make available for sale any marijuana or cannabis plants.”

The following new paragraphs are added to subsection (a) after paragraph (1), and the remaining paragraphs are renumbered accordingly:

“(2) The terms ‘controlled substance’ and ‘controlled substances,’ as used in this Code, shall not include:

“(A) Marijuana that is or was in the personal possession of a person twenty-one years of age or older at any specific time if the total amount of marijuana that is or was in the possession of that person at that time weighs or weighed two ounces or less;

“(B) Cannabis plants that are or were grown, possessed, harvested, or processed by a person twenty one years of age or older within the interior of a house or rental unit that constitutes or at the time constituted, such person’s principal residence, if such person at that time was growing no more than six cannabis plants with three or fewer being mature flowering plants and if all persons residing within that single house or single rental unit at that time did not possess, grow, harvest or process, in the aggregate, more than twelve cannabis plants, with six or fewer being mature, flowering plants; or

“(C) The marijuana produced by the plants which were grown, possessed, harvested or processed by a person who was, pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, permitted to grow, possess, harvest and process such plants, if such marijuana is or was in the personal possession of that person who is growing or grew such plants, within the house or rental unit in which the plants are or were grown.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the terms ‘controlled substance’ and ‘controlled substances’ as used in this Code shall include any marijuana or cannabis plant sold or offered for sale or made available for sale.

“(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, no district government agency or office shall limit or refuse to provide any facility service, program or benefit to any person based upon or by reason of conduct that is made lawful by this subsection.

“(4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require any district government agency or office, or any employer, to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of any such agency, office or employer to establish and enforce policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.

“(5) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to permit driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by use or ingestion of marijuana or to modify or affect the construction or application of any provision of this Code related to driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by marijuana.

“(6) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit any person, business, corporation, organization or other entity, or district government agency or office, who or which occupies, owns or controls any real property, from prohibiting or regulating the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation or growing of marijuana on or in that property.

“(7) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to make unlawful any conduct permitted by the District of Columbia Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Law 18-210; D.C. Official Code §§7-1671.01 et seq.).”

Sec. 3. Section 4 of the Drug Paraphernalia Act of 1982, effective September 17, 1982 (D.C. Law 4-149; D.C. Official Code §48-1103), is amended as follows:

(a) Subsection (a) is amended to read as follows:

“(a) Except as authorized by Chapter 16B of Title 7, it is unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inhale, ingest, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance; except that it shall be lawful for any person twenty-one years of age or older to use, or possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to possess or use marijuana if such possession or use is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1), or to use, or possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to grow, possess, harvest or process cannabis plants, the growth, possession, harvesting or processing of which is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1). Whoever violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days or fined for not more than $100, or both.”

Subsection (b) is amended to read as follows:

“(b) Except as authorized by Chapter 16B of Title 7, it is unlawful for any person to deliver or sell, possess with intent to deliver or sell, or manufacture with intent to deliver or sell drug paraphernalia, knowingly, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance; except that it shall be lawful for any person to deliver or sell, possess with intent to deliver or sell, or manufacture with intent to deliver or sell, drug paraphernalia under circumstances in which one knows or has reason to know that such drug paraphernalia will be used solely for use of marijuana that is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1) or that such drug paraphernalia will be used solely for growing, possession, harvesting, or processing of cannabis plants that is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1). Whoever violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than 6 months or fined for not more than $1,000, or both, unless the violation occurs after the person has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this subchapter, in which case the person shall be imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both.”

Sec. 4. The amounts of the fines set forth in District of Columbia Code sections 22-3571.01 and 48-1103 shall be adjusted through implementing or amending legislation enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia to the extent necessary to ensure that this Act does not negate or limit any act of the Council of the District of Columbia pursuant to D.C. Code §1-204.46.

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Government Reorganization Act (Home Rule Act), approved December 24, 2971 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code §1-206.02(c)(1)).


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Safe Access DC’s Protest at the Department of Justice
|| 5/2/2011 || 10:12 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I attended the Americans for Safe Access demonstration at the Department of Justice Building in downtown Washington, DC.

Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice


Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice


Safe Access DC's Protest at the Department of Justice



This was written by Steph Sherer:

Stand in solidarity with me for a National Day of Action this Monday, May 2, 2011. Our community is sick and tired. We are suffering from chronic or debilitating conditions, and we are weary of false promises that do nothing to protect our rights as patients.

After previously giving us a false sense of security, the Obama administration now continues to ignore state laws and raid medical cannabis patients and facilities, while creating new ways to marginalize our community, including issues related to patient privacy, access, banking, taxation, and threats of filing suit against state employees who participate in upholding state law. This community is still under attack.

Just yesterday, our community witnessed raid activity in Washington State and on Monday, our community will lose two more of our brothers and sisters to the failed war on drugs. Dale Shafer and Dr. Mollie fry will turn themselves over to federal agents to serve five-year mandatory minimum sentences for legally participating in state sanctioned medical cannabis programs. Enough is enough and Monday, May 2, 2011 is our time to take stand against federal interference!

Fellow community members and local activists are preparing to deliver ASA’s Cease and Desist to local DEA offices and federal buildings across the country. Commit to do the same. Join activists in several cities across the country. Locations include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Washington State, Oregon, Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Michigan, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, DC, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Maryland. To find out what is going on in your area, email action@safeaccessnow.org, or print out the Cease and Desist Order and take it to a local DEA Office or Federal Building near you on Monday!! Remember: if you don’t stand up for safe access, who will?

Special Patients’ Rights Rallies will be occurring in both Washington, DC outside of the Department of Justice at 12pEST (event flyer) and outside of the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, CA at 12pPST for Dale Schafer and Dr. Mollie Fry (event flyer).

It’s thanks to the support from our members that ASA is able to hold Days of Action like this one. Please consider making a donation to ASA today, so we can continue to strengthen our fight for safe access.

I look forward to participating in our National Day of Action for patients’ rights with you on Monday, May 2, 2011.



THE EXPECTANT HAND – The Mahoning Dispatch, June 04, 1909
|| 8/28/2010 || 12:02 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

The article below is a condensed short story from a biography by Frank Allaben on the life of Gen. John Watts De Peyster. I chose this article because it describes a doctor recommending Indian hemp, which is the colloquial name for one of these five plants: Cannabis indica, Apocynum cannabinum, Sida rhombifolia, Asclepias incarnata, Hibiscus cannabinus. The doctor was most likely recommending Cannabis indica because it is the only variety of Indian hemp which has medicinal properties. Sadly, today in America a doctor would lose their license to prescribe drugs if they were to assist their patient in acquiring Cannabis indica as described below.


Scan of the newspaper article

THE EXPECTANT HAND


No Charge Made, But a Present of Money Not Refused.

In recording an illness of his grandfather, Gen. John Watts De Peyster tells an amusing story in connection with Indian hemp. It is printed in his biography by Mr. Frank Allaben.

Indian hemp was recommended as a remedy during my grandfathers illness, but where to get it was the question. Finally some one said it was grown in the garden of old Mr. Henry Brevoort, who owned a large plot on the east side of Broadway, extending through to the Bowery above Tenth street. Grace Church stands on part of this ground.

Doctor Bibby gave me some money, told me to jump into his gig, drive up to Brevoort’s old low-storied cottage house on Bowery, and tell the owner that I wanted some Indian hemp for my grandfather, John Watts. I was to use diplomacy if necessary, but not to return without it.

I trotted briskly, roused Mr. Brevoort from a nap, stated my case, found no demur, and got the Indian hemp, which he dug up with his own hands.

“How much am I to pay?” I questioned.

“I never sells it,” Mr. Brevoort replied, “because if I takes money for Indian hemp, it weakens the vartoo.”

I stated that I was ordered to pay, and we discussed the matter, walking across the garden toward the gig, which I had left on Broadway.

I had made up my mind that I had met with a disinterested Christian, had replaced the money in my pocket, when I felt a brawny, sunburnt, freckled hand restraining me, and heard these words whispered in my ear: “I never sells Indian hemp, for that weakens the vartoo, but if I gives it, I never refuses a present.”

I extricated the money confided to me, placed it in the expectant hand, hurried home and related my story, and I have heard it laughed over many times.



If you don’t get the joke, don’t worry, its not that funny. My reading on this story is that “vartoo” is Mr. Brevoort’s Dutch pronunciation of the word “virtue.” As in, virtue is a trait or quality deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. By selling something medicinal, Mr. Brevoort is saying that he would weaken the plants effectiveness by profiting off the sale. A contemporary aspect of this moral concept is that some medical cannabis dispensaries in California only take donations instead of selling their medicine. Maybe they don’t want to weaken the vartoo either.



Mentioned Today On The Huffington Post Concerning Facebook’s Censorship of Advertisements Related To Cannabis
|| 8/24/2010 || 11:49 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Animated GIF featuring 3 iterations of the Huffington Post’s front page

This morning after reading the article on the Huffington Post about how Facebook banned certain ads related to cannabis, I contacted my friend who knows the author about how Facebook also banned a bunch of ads I created earlier this year, and was subsequently included at the end of the article.

Text and screen grab below:

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CRAZED FROM SMOKING A WEED – The Florida Star – May 19, 1905
|| 8/11/2010 || 11:08 am || + Render A Comment || ||

Aside from checking out past predictions, I’ve found it very interesting to trace the history of cannabis through old newspaper articles. While not the first usage of the word “marihuana” on Chronicling America, this was the first result that show up when using the “relevance” search result option. I also chose it because it has such a sensational drawing that was published along with the article (below). The larger lessons that I learned here are that American Reefer Madness began well before the mid-1930s and the illegality of cannabis in Mexico has been an issue for over 100 years & continues to be problematic today.



The Florida Star – 5/19/1905

Marihuana is a weed used in Mexico by people of the lower class and sometimes by soldiers, but those who make larger use of it are prisoners sentenced to long terms. The use of the weed and its sale, especially in the barracks and prisons, are very severely punished, yet it has many adepts, and Indian women cultivate it because they sell it at rather high prices.

The dry leave of marihuana, alone or mixed with tobacco, make the smoker wilder than a wild beast. It is said that immediately after the first three or four drafts of smoke smokers begin to feel a slight headache. Then they see everything moving, and finally they lose all control of their mental faculties. Everything, the smokers say, takes the shape of a monster, and men look like devils. They begin to fight, and of course everything smashed is a monster “killed.” But there are imaginary beings whom the wild men cannot kill, and these inspire fear until the man is panic stricken and runs.

Not long ago a man who had smoked a marihuana cigarette attacked and killed a policeman and badly wounded three other offices. Six policemen were needed to disarm him and march him to the police station, where he had to be put into a straitjacket.

There are other plants equally dangerous, among them the tolvache, a kind of loco weed. The seeds this plant boiled and drunk as tea will make a person insane. Among some classes of Mexico it is stated that Carlotta, the empress of Mexico, lost her mind because she was give tolvache in a refreshment.

There is in the state of Michoacan another plant the effects of which upon the human organism are very curious. The plant grows wildly in some parts of Michoacan, and natives have observed that whenever they traversed a field where there were many such plants they lost all notion of places. It takes from three to four hours for a person affected by the smell of the plant to recover the full control of his mental faculties.

Another very curious plant is the one called “de las Carreras” in some places where it grows. When a person drinks a brew of the leaves of seeds of the plant he feels an impulse to run and will run until he drops dead or exhausted.





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