After a 15 month campaign, decriminalization of marijuana was signed into law by DC Mayor Vince Gray today. But, as with all DC legislation, there is a waiting period when Congress can intervene. So marijuana reformers can’t celebrate yet.
Although we can sweat, and will, until the 60 days elapse. More importantly, marijuana users can’t get caught yet either. There is no let up in enforcement. Arrests and prosecutions will continue tomorrow as they did yesterday. I read it on Twitter is not a defense. Possession of even a roach can still mean arrest and prosecution.
But there is the sense that change is coming. D.C. is leading the way in our region. This new legislation puts us miles ahead of Maryland and Virginia, where old-time politicians still control the agenda.
This has been a grass roots effort, not something foisted upon us by Congress. The good will and momentum we created here can be harnessed to solve other challenges.
I want to send a special shout out to Adam Eidinger, our own genuine activist, on both weed and healthy foods. And to Seema Sadanandan – a tough name – but one you will do well to remember. Seema is from the National Capital Area ACLU and was the organizer, facilitator and communicator who brought it all together.
Win or lose tomorrow, Ward 6 city Councilman Tommy Wells introduced the decrim bill, then pushed it through. Although others voted for decrim, and even co-sponsored the legislation, but without Wells it would not have happened so quickly, and perhaps not at all.