Poll: D.C. Voters Poised To Legalize Pot
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Poll: D.C. Voters Poised To Legalize Pot
Posted by CN Staff on September 19, 2014 at 15:19:18 PT
By Aaron Davis
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. -- Voters in the District of Columbia are poised to follow Colorado and Washington state into a closely watched experiment to legalize marijuana, according to a new NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll.By an almost 2-to-1 margin, likely voters in the city’s Nov. 4 election say they support Initiative 71, a ballot measure that would legalize possession, home cultivation and the sale of paraphernalia to smoke marijuana in the nation’s capital.
The results show an electorate unshaken — even emboldened — nine months after legal marijuana sales began in Colorado and six months after D.C. lawmakers stripped away jail time for possession, making it just a $25 offense.Although the District has so far felt little fallout from those moves, full legalization on the streets surrounding the White House would thrust the District into an untenable conflict with federal drug laws, potentially hastening the arrival of a larger national debate. It would also complicate it.Legalization in the District is fused with the weighty issues of civil rights and drug arrest rates among African Americans. In faraway Western states that have legalized marijuana, those issues have been largely secondary to civil liberties and drug safety.A band of pro-marijuana activists supporting Initiative 71, in fact, have almost no money in their campaign account and may not run a single ad, but support seems increasingly hardened in part because of a major shift toward support among African Americans.The District’s black residents, who now account for half its population, once opposed marijuana legalization, partly out of fear it could lead to addiction among black youths. But as new studies have suggested otherwise, that attitude has evolved. One study last year showed that blacks account for nine out of 10 arrests for simple drug possession in the District, while another showed that was the case even as usage likely varied little among races.According to the poll, 56 percent of likely African American voters say they would vote for legalization, a near identical number to a broader question about support for legalization asked in a Washington Post poll in January. Together, the polls confirm a complete reversal of opinions among African Americans from four years ago. Then, 37 percent were in favor of legalization and 55 percent opposed.The District’s rapidly changing demographics also help explain the possible success of the initiative. In four years, the population in the District has swelled by 45,000, or 7.4 percent, and many newcomers are young, white and increasingly affluent. More than 7 in 10 voters in these groups support legalization.All that puts the District far to the left of the legalization discussion nationally with the country closely divided at 49 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier this year.Nina Moiseiwitsch, 19, a college student studying biomedical engineering in New York, said she is certain to vote absentee in the District to be heard on the marijuana issue.The government and police “have better things to focus on than trying to keep on top of something they really can’t,” she said. “I think it’s a distraction from . . . harder drugs that really are a problem in D.C. And it could become safer once regulated.”Activists collected more than 57,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. They pushed forward even as some pro-marijuana groups urged restraint, concerned legalization in the District risks forcing Congress to react.As it is, votes will be held in the District, Alaska and Oregon to decide legalization in November. Alaskans voted down a similar measure a decade ago but also have no criminal or monetary fines for possession.The measure in Oregon led by a bare majority in a poll five months ago. Voters in Florida also appear certain to approve a medical marijuana measure in November.The measure would allow people 21 and older to possess as much as two ounces of marijuana for personal use and to grow up to three marijuana plants at home.To keep from triggering a prohibition on ballot measures that run afoul of federal law, Initiative 71 does not spell out that the District would allow for the sale of marijuana. That would be left up to regulations to be written and approved by the next mayor and D.C. Council. They also would have broad power to alter the measure.Against that backdrop, the increasing likelihood that Initiative 71 will pass could force candidates for mayor — Democrat Muriel Bowser, a council member representing Ward 4; David A. Catania, an at-large council member running as an independent; and Carol Schwartz, a former council member also running as an independent — to offer more thorough explanations on their views of the issue.Bowser and Catania have said they would vote for legalization, but neither has shown a propensity for direct conflict with federal law enforcement over drug laws. Schwartz opposes legalization.During the council debate on decriminalizing marijuana in the spring, Bowser supported doing so, but she said allowing residents to possess marijuana begged the question of how they would come to obtain it. “Dealing with how people can procure this decriminalized marijuana has to be the second step,” she said.Catania was instrumental in establishing the District’s medical marijuana program, but for years he sought to do so cautiously, in order to not draw the scrutiny of federal agents based in the District that enforce federal drug laws.Catania, however, was among the most vocal supporters of decriminalization and sought to confront U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) this summer when he attached a provision to a federal spending bill that could undercut the District’s effort to reduce fines for possession to $25.Still, a vote for legalization would require more of the next mayor, including following through with whatever plan might be approved to sell and tax the plant and to prepare for the almost certain attempts by Republicans such as Harris to interfere with the plan in Congress.The NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll was conducted Sept. 14 to 16 among a random sample of 1,249 D.C. adults reached on conventional and cellular phones. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points among the sample of 572 likely voters.Aaron Davis covers D.C. government and politics for The Post and wants to hear your story about how D.C. works — or how it doesn’t.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Aaron DavisPublished: September 18, 2014Copyright: 2014 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on September 21, 2014 at 19:56:31 PT
Some mighty fine thumping there! I learned more than I knew. Thanks!
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Comment #11 posted by observer on September 21, 2014 at 17:54:45 PT
re: "The tricky thing about sweeping pronouncements is that there're almost invariably exceptions."I certainly made a number of those! I want to be wrong about stuff like that. "Observer, you said we were going to hades in a hand-basket but nay: we took another mode of transportation."  Granted: there are Virginians who don't parasitize others. (Government calls them "targets", "prey", "scofflaws", "fat cats", "cash cows", "perps", and so on.) But I salute them. I'm glad there is some push back. How well I remember pushing back in Fairfax and Arlington getting signatures in 1988 to even allow other Virginians to vote on a liberty candidate for president - Ron Paul. Experiences like that let me get to know what people in Fairfax County and all over Virginia thought of letting people vote for candidates other than those of the Republicrat party. (They hated the idea.) But I have to wonder, does the state police (and/or DEASOD) turn over NORML attendees' names over to police and tax authorities for "special" treatment? If you work in a big (or little) company in Virginia - and are extremely careful NOT to let your boss know you went to that NORML conference, does he somehow find out and (using "parallel construction") fire you pretty soon after you get back, using some excuse? Do you get pulled over (in front of a school of course) on I64 there on the way home from the conference? No, police would never use their OCR license scanners, and data fusion centers, and their real-time NSA/DEA phone tap "everything" dragnets to do anything like that - leastways not in Constitution respecting, freedom-loving Virginia, we can be sure. But seriously, I'd attend under a pseudonym - and don't use a car, and be sure not to have a boss that can get that "confidential" call from an important-sounding government man concerning the drug-related and possibly terrorist activities of one of their disposable employees. re: "You're looking at a Virginian whose income is derived neither from government contracts nor government handouts."My hat is off to you, sir. Eventually freedom will return to Virginia again. Maybe in geologic time, but it will happen. I used to live in Williamsburg... Fine idea, that freedom and liberty they talk about to tourists and school children, there. And I hope Virginia isn't dead last to legalize. And I do know NORML and MPP have been trying to keep Virginia's never-used tepid 1970's MMJ law from being stricken from the laws books, at least. Hallelujah. 
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Comment #10 posted by Universer on September 21, 2014 at 15:48:45 PT
Virginia Cannabis Conference, coming soon
The tricky thing about sweeping pronouncements is that there're almost invariably exceptions.You're looking at a Virginian whose income is derived neither from government contracts nor government handouts. And though I don't caucus with them, the Tea Party is strong with this one.Anyway.Now's a good point to publicize that we NoVA NORMLites are looking forward to Virginia NORML's Cannabis Conference, set for Williamsburg over the first two days of this upcoming November.'s make some more history in the History Triangle.(By the way, I feel it imperative to point out that Virginia will not be the last to see the anti-prohibitionist light. I don't know where the Commonwealth will fall in the parade of dominoes -- but the Hate State of Idaho is my pick for the final holdout. That L-shaped state of losing ideas is so viciously opposed to progress and freedom that I heard its legislature once pledged never to make cannabis legal at any level for any reason ever ever.Least ol' VA has had a faux medcann law on the books since 1979, and rumblings of a decrim bill in 2015. Least, thank goodness, we're no Idaho.)
2014 Virginia Cannabis Conference
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Comment #9 posted by observer on September 21, 2014 at 13:31:21 PT
Virginia is for Lovers of Government
Virginia is a great area - the mountains are pretty, and the land is blessed in term of natural wildlife, climate, and rainfall. I lived there for many years: hiked for miles over the mountains, swam in Virginia's streams and rivers, worked in Virginia's cities; as my father and grandfather did before me. The people in Virginia now, however, range from murderous to ignorant (with very few exceptions) - and fully deserve the police state hell they make Virginia now for each other using government as their preferred tool of mutual oppression. One day the people left in Virginia may stop using government to steal from one another, kill each other, and destroy what's left. If they actually read and followed the Bibles they claim to believe, they'd cry in horror at what they have done to one another (the killing/stealing/destroying, I mean) and repent. Actually, I'm over-generalizing. Virginians, especially those getting a government paycheck or other government largesse and/or benefiting from the military-industrial complex in Virginia through their paychecks do indeed have a high regard for the Bible, first and foremost and especially Romans chapter 13, verse one. This is their verse! (In some versions, that is.)Romans 13:1
(NIV) Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities...
Now that's a Bible version that everyone in government can agree on! You (serf/non-government person) must submit to government: why the NIV (=Bible=God) tells you so! So never mind what that archaic, dusty, old, thees-and-thous King James Version says. Government people don't like that old thing. Because the KJV says that government must be subject to a higher power. To many people in government, that's crazy absurd talk - some "higher power" - after all, who dare claim there's a 'higher power' than a government gun? Romans 13:1
(KJV) Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers....
(Of course, many wielding government power would argue that government-accredited scientists have not proven the existence of a "soul" - and therefore since soul-less government hirelings/gunmen have no soul, the verse can't even apply. It is hard for me to argue with that line of reasoning.) Did you know that the US government has instructed pastors (so-called) to preach Romans 13 a certain way to their congregations? : 
The FEMA directors told the Pastors that attended that it was their job to help implement FEMA and Homeland Security directives in anticipation of any of these eventualities. The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to "obey the government" when martial law is declared.
more on Romans 13, back to government-loving Romans 13 Virginians. While most Virginians are either on the take from government, or are too cowed by it to dare complain (if you complain about government in Virginia on Facebook for example, government will haul you off in shackles to jail/detention*), here's one verse pastors there won't connect to the town under their feet:
Hab2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and
stablisheth a city by iniquity!
Because why would you preach such a verse when all Virginia towns are on stolen land, all Virginia towns are built on blood, and the rest of it? They reward themselves murderous woe in manifold ways, Virginians, and think little of it. So no, Virginia is not about to legalize pot - they will be the last. Too many Virginians suckling on the government teat, too many government hirelings making too much money off of government keeping pot illegal, to want to rock that boat. No, they'd sooner fire any preacher who points out The Virginia Way of murder and theft, and hire another, another who will preach Romans 13 like government wants: Let everyone obey government, which is their god. ___* "if you complain about government in Virginia on Facebook for example, government will haul you off in shackles to jail/detention"; google "Brandon Raub" ...
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Comment #8 posted by Universer on September 21, 2014 at 10:24:15 PT
Garry Minor
I shore wish you'd come to Virginny and teach our Confederate flag wavers, climate-change deniers and sanctimonious authoritarians a few of those facts of yours.Regrettably, among the Bible-thumping redneck crowd, Virginia and elsewhere, yours are thoughts which constitute the merest minority, a huge hindrance to freedom made up of alleged freedom-lovers.
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on September 21, 2014 at 07:52:36 PT
Hillary, above and beyond the pall ...
Hillary would stand on her head in a Scottish Kilt in granny panties, in Time Square at lunch hour, if it would get her elected. She has sold her soul many times over in life to get where she is today.She feels entitled to the job as prez and will serve any master to achieve her goal. Her ambition is pathological and dangerous and very harmful to us the people. 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 21, 2014 at 06:30:10 PT
We have 2 years. So much can happen in the next 2 years and I will remain hopeful until his term is over. Then with Hillary I don't know how she will be. I wish Bernie Sanders would run and win. 
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Comment #5 posted by Oleg the Tumor on September 21, 2014 at 06:12:56 PT:
Will Obama Set Us Free?
Pres. Obama has two years to go. Congress is locked up tight as a drum and the President of the United States must quite literally unroll a proclamation and read it aloud to get anything done.Constant change is here to stay and even worse, its velocity is also unfolding exponentially (see Moore's Law). Soon the number of jurisdictions that differ from federal law on "the legality of laws elsewhere " will indeed, as the above article says, "… full legalization on the streets surrounding the White House would thrust the District into an untenable conflict with federal drug laws, potentially hastening the arrival of a larger national debate. It would also complicate it."Pres. Obama has two long years ahead watching this debate unfold from here. I don't envy him. "The Great Narrative of Presidential History." will show that Mr. Obama had a lot of negative things occur on "his watch". No doubt he will cry that what good he has done is being scrubbed away by a number of things (real and imagined), notwithstanding the fact that most of the good stuff happened early on and here we are with two long years left to go in this opera, and of course he will be right. The obvious answer to the cannabis debate seems via the proclamation -as that is the only option left open to him, perhaps for the office itself to remain relevant. One can only wonder which part the Man himself plays in this great passion play, the Pharaoh or Moses? Which is it?As the president is familiar with cannabis, knows from personal experience that it is non-toxic and has also taught constitutional law, is he prepared to stand by and do nothing for the next two years as this "apartheid like" Schedule One designation is carried forward by a platform without legs?How is it that a black president refuses to let Jim Crow die?GIVE BACK WHAT YOU TOOK FROM US!FREE THE PRISONER OF SCHEDULE ONE!
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on September 20, 2014 at 11:54:48 PT
You were so right
However, rumor has it that decriminalization feelers may be put out in at least one of Richmond's legislative bodies in 2015. A small step, to be sure, and certainly one with no guarantees of a second, but still....
You were so right. VANormal reported .. “We are excited that Va State Senator Ebbin just announced that he will introduce a marijuana decriminalization bill in 2015. Virginia NORML looks forward to working with the Senator and other coalition members like the NAACP to pass the bill. Please write or call the Senator to thank him, and show him that we have his back.”
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Comment #3 posted by Garry Minor on September 20, 2014 at 10:53:19 PT:
#2 -Universer: Bible-thumping rednecks!
I too am a Bible-thumper, however what if those rednecks you talk about knew that there are 250 shekels of Kaneh Bosm, Cannabis in the Holy Oil, Chrism that God instructed Moses to prepare for anointing His priests, kings, prophets, and of course, His Christians, Anointed Ones?Early Diffusion and Folk uses of HempDr. Sula Benet aka Sara Benetowa title Messiah, Christ simply means Anointed. The disciples and early followers of "The Way," as they were originally called certainly knew the Truth and Anointed themselves with the Kaneh Bosm infused Oil! Cyril of JerusalemFor as Christ after His Baptism, and the visitation of the Holy Ghost, went forth and vanquished the adversary, so likewise ye, after Holy Baptism and the Mystical Chrism, having put on the whole armour of the Holy Ghost, are to stand against the power of the adversary, and vanquish it, saying, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, ye are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, ye had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being of PhilipIf one goes down into the water and comes up without having received anything, and says "I am a Christian," he has borrowed the name at interest. But if he receives the Holy Spirit, he has the name as a gift. He who has received a gift does not have to give it back, but of him who has borrowed it at interest, payment is demanded. This is the way it happens to one when he experiences a mystery.The chrism is superior to baptism, for it is from the word "Chrism" that we have been called "Christians," certainly not because of the word "baptism". And it is because of the chrism that "the Christ" has his name. For the Father anointed the Son, and the Son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. He who has been anointed possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the cross, the Holy Spirit. The Father gave him this in the bridal chamber; he merely accepted (the gift). The Father was in the Son and the Son in the Father. This is the Kingdom of Heaven.Ignorance is the mother of all evil. Ignorance will result in death, because those that come from ignorance neither were nor are nor shall be. The Word said, "If you know the truth, the truth will make you free" (Jn 8:32). Ignorance is a slave. Knowledge is freedom. If we know the truth, we shall find the fruits of the truth within us. If we are joined to it, it will bring our fulfillment.'d say those poor rednecks are deceived! Their jesus is literally and Biblically;anti- opposite of, opposed to or against.Christ- covered in oil, Anointed.No wonder the Spirit of Christ must return!Food, fuel, shelter, medicine, pleasure, Spirituality!A different world?The leaves of the Tree are for the healing of nations.
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Comment #2 posted by Universer on September 19, 2014 at 22:00:09 PT
My View From NoVA
As a citizen of Northern Virginia, a mere high-speed excursion (our typically excruciating traffic notwithstanding) from the nation's capital, I am abundantly encouraged by the staggering poll numbers coming out of D.C.Maryland has passed decriminalization, which is due to take effect in October. Famously, D.C. has enacted decriminalization (for the low low price of $25), which is presently effective.Virginia -- my home, my birthplace, my only ever residence -- well, they threaten you with jail and put you in treatment. I know.However, rumor has it that decriminalization feelers may be put out in at least one of Richmond's legislative bodies in 2015. A small step, to be sure, and certainly one with no guarantees of a second, but still....While I live in comparatively liberal Northern Virginia, culturally a separate state from the Bible-thumping rednecks that habit most the rest -- this is the Confederate capital, land of Falwell and Robertson, and restrictively socially conservative in the many areas where not many people live.But, yeah, you're darn tootin' there'll be some souvenir-taking. And probably some of the Commonwealth's finest waiting just across the bridges, fingers on the blue-light switch.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on September 19, 2014 at 21:20:05 PT
great for DC
That will be great for DC. I wonder what the impact this will have on law enforcement practices in nearby Maryland and Virginia.  Residents of both states can and do cross over in to DC on a regular basis not to even mention the thousands of tourists every day. Will some people take souvenirs home with them? What will happen then? Will Maryland and Virginia finally end their drug war?
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