Poll of DC Voters Finds Two-Thirds Support Marijuana Legalization

District of Columbia map
Activists planning possible Washington, DC, marijuana reform efforts got some good news this week. A Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday found that three-quarters of DC voters support decriminalizing marijuana possession, two-thirds (67%) think law enforcement resources focused on marijuana should be used elsewhere, and nearly two-thirds (63%) said they would support ballot measures similar to those in Colorado and Washington state, where voters legalized marijuana last November.

DC voters weren't just interested in lessening marijuana law enforcement. A solid majority (54%) said drug use should be treated as a public health issue and people should no longer be arrested and locked up for possession of a small amount of any drug for personal use.

DC-based activists have been meeting about plans to push pot law reforms. The first stop is the city council, but it the council balks, there are also contingency plans for a possible ballot initiative. In interviews earlier this year, activists said they were waiting for polling results before deciding on a course of action. Now they have them.

Adam Eidinger holding "Free Bryan Epis" sign at protest of then drug czar John Walters, 2002 (drugwar.com)
"As a 20-year DC resident, I know scores of people who have been humiliated with an arrest and have even spent time in jail for possessing small quantities of marijuana," said longtime District activist and spokesman for Dr. Bronner's Natural Soaps Adam Eidinger. "This new poll confirms that there is little support for laws that criminalize marijuana consumers in the District and they are due for repeal. We hope it inspires the Council to craft meaningful marijuana policy reform legislation, but in either case a change in the law appears to be inevitable."

"District voters, like most Americans, think it is time for a new, more sensible approach to marijuana policy," said Steve Fox of the DC-based Marijuana Policy Project. "People should not be subjected to life-altering criminal penalties simply for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol. Harsh criminal penalties should be reserved for serious criminals, and our law enforcement resources should be reserved for addressing serious crimes."

"DC voters clearly want to end the failed war on drugs," said Bill Piper, DC-based national affairs director for the Drug Policy Alliance. "Decriminalizing marijuana is a no-brainer, but the Council should do more. There is an opportunity to make a clean break from the past and treat drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. More access to treatment and health services. No more putting people in jail."

The ball is in the DC City Council's court, but if elected representatives fail to act, the threat of direct democracy via the initiative process looms.

Washington, DC
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

 To see socially-regressive,

 

To see socially-regressive, sanctimonious neanderthals—while falsely touting church, God or patriotism—denigrate, bully, threaten, and even murder the ill and dying for choosing to exercise their God-given right to self-medicate with one of Earth’s most medically efficacious plants.

To see our prisons filled to budget-busting capacity on the false pretense of protecting people from themselves.

To see the selective targeting and destruction of African-American families and African-American communities.

To see the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans destroyed or severely disrupted.

To see our Federal government using the international drug trade to fund their despicable black-operations throughout the entire globe.

To see the huge market in narcotics gifted to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists, and corrupt law enforcement. 

To see our society spiral downwards into a dark abyss, while shady corporate entities exponentially enrich themselves.

These are the dimensions of prohibition; which are terrifying and unconscionable; which are morally repugnant. 

Prohibition is about violence. 

Prohibition is about suffering.

Prohibition is a very nasty business.

liberty

When will a march on Washington be organized??  That's what the illegals did and they changed their status from illegal to "undocumented".  11 million + people who broke our laws to come here illegally who are doing far more damage to our country by being a drain on our economy and resources, while half of them are pregnant I might add and Americans who have been fighting this marijuana war are STILL fighting it even though more than half of our nation has said ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!  This is not about "health reasons" that's a line of baloney.  This is about freedom.  If it were about "health reasons" as the liar the "Drug Czar" says then we would be thinking of outlawing coffee, cigarettes, alcohol (now the last two are REAL KILLERS) and just about anything.  Let's see.....aspirin, tylenol, sleep aids, etc because there has never been one death attributed to marijuana use, so just exactly how it is determined to be banned solely on the health consequences is not a very smart move and will not be tolerated by the American public because we are not stupid.  We know that the real reason is because the alcohol, pharmaceutical and tobacco industry lobbies Washington and give big $ to keep marijuana illegal for their own greedy reasons.  I guess all WE have to do is take the attitude that "we will not comply" like the "undocumented" did and then Mr. Obama will jump into action and free us from the tyranny of the U.S. Government and any state that tries to enforce federal law will be sued, right Mr. Obama?  Isn't that how it works?  Actually, I think that all he has to do is repeal the amendment that prohibits it with the stroke of his pen the same way the Roosevelt ended the prohibition of alcohol.  But, we need to show the enormous  numbers of mass support in a march and ram the message home that ADULTS should have the freedom to imbibe in a less harmful substance than alcohol OR tobacco and stop being treated as criminal juvenile delinquents.  There are 23 million + of us who are already closet users and we aren't going away.  If we stop spending money arresting and prosecuting and clogging up our jails with punishing people for this, that is only half the benefit.  The other half is that ordinary good citizens will not have their lives adversely affected for no good reason and the gangs will stop getting richer off of their blood money..  Stop saying that it's to "save the kids".  Nobody is advocating use for children any more than beer commercials are geared toward juveniles.  The fact is that any kid can get it now while it's illegal so keeping it that way is saving NOTHING, but making it more dangerous for those kids who are being exposed to drug dealers who may expose them to something that IS harmful....very harmful.  Prohibition saves NOTHING.

One last thought on the subject.  It blows my mind how the majority of the country does NOT WANT amnesty and yet it is being pushed through ANYWAY.  The majority of the country wants pot legalization and Washington is doing everything they can to fight it!!  For the people, by the people???  Words without any meaning attached to them.  You may as well use the Constitution as toilet paper because that's all it's good for, it seems.  I have found out one thing while living in this country all my life and that is that when you want something done in this country you have to fight for it and demand it or just defy the law and that's sad because in every sense of the word I am an outstanding citizen who hasn't even had a speeding ticket in over 33 years and never pays a bill late, have put three sons through college, pay our fair share of taxes, but by definition I am a criminal.  When will we march?????????

We March and March

This is a wonderful and impassioned post.  I agree, when do when march?  I'm here in DC and ready to host, but it better be big!

ONWARDS!

Marijuana and the law

If you believe in legalization, de-crimelization or medical marijuana vote NOT GUILTY on any defendant charged with a non-violent marijuana offense.

The other day I was caught

The other day I was caught with marijuana in my room. I'm still very upset about it and I don't even know why it's still illegal anywhere. My mom has a card and has managed to get off of many medications due to the outstanding effects from weed. I couldn't express how much anger I feel with this whole marijuana situation...just fucking legalize it already!!
 

This is all and good, And im

This is all and good, And im all for it, BUT heres the problem: Everyone in Washington is in bed with the Drug Industry, we all know this. Once we can get Government away from the payoffs from Drug Industries, and hundreds of other "Special Intrest Groups", and get back in bed with "We The People", then AND ONLY THEN can we once again have a Government that works for The People.

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