Tuesday’s Council vote on communal cannabis use should be postponed.
Cannabis reform is sweeping the nation. In November, full legalization of recreational marijuana will be on the California ballot, and medical cannabis will be the ballot in Florida. Many observers believe that if California and Florida both vote yes, full nation-wide legalization won’t be far off. We shouldn’t saddle ourselves with a self-imposed ban, until we see where the nation is going in November. Don’t jump on the sinking ship of prohibition just as it’s going down.
The Obama administration has allowed states to decide their own marijuana policies. State choice is the position of all the leading presidential candidates, including Clinton, Trump & even Cruz. D.C. – like all the other states – needs to prepare. A Task Force, which includes Chief Lanier, is a responsible approach.
I supported the establishment of the Task Force to consider this issue, and urge the Council to postpone any vote until after the Task Force is able to hold public meetings and make its recommendations.
As recently as 2013, D.C. led the nation in marijuana arrests per capita, mostly of young black men. As opportunities in the legal cannabis industry arise, D.C. residents shouldn’t be left out. I get inquiries every week from entrepreneurial D.C. residents who read about the riches in Colorado and California and want to know when they can participate. The legal cannabis industry shouldn’t just be a bunch a white guys from Colorado.