Pubdate: Sun, 12 Oct 2014
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2014 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Marc Fisher, The Washington Post


Washington - The campaigns for and against legalizing marijuana in 
the nation's capital are not exactly sophisticated - no targeted 
robo-calling, no TV commercials, no get-out-the-vote drive.

The Yes side papers street lamp poles with signs that just say 
"Legalize." The No side counters with its simple slogan, "Two. Is. 
Enough. D.C.," meaning that legal alcohol and tobacco give 
Washingtonians all the mind-altering substances they need.

D.C. voters will be asked Nov. 4 for a simple yes or no on legalizing 
marijuana, which the city decriminalized this year, replacing arrests 
and possible jail time with a $25 fine for possession of up to one ounce.

But in the hazy world of marijuana law- an alternate reality in which 
Colorado and Washington have declared the substance legal even as it 
remains banned under federal law-nothing is simple.

In the District, the contradictions get kicked up considerably: If 
the initiative passes, it would become legal to possess or grow small 
amounts of marijuana but not to sell or buy the stuff. The D.C. 
Council is talking about waiting months, or even a year, before 
taking the next step and passing a scheme to allow sales, taxes and 
regulation. In the meantime, even if Congress were to allow a Yes 
vote to stand, the city would become a place where having marijuana 
is legal but getting it requires illegal acts or a magical appearance 
of seeds or the finished product.

That leaves even some of the most fervent opponents of marijuana 
prohibition wondering just what the ballot proposal might accomplish.

Elsewhere, this fall's votes on marijuana policy would have real and 
swift impact. Alaska and Oregon voters will decide whether to make 
state-regulated sales legal, much as Colorado and Washington state 
have done. In Florida, the ballot includes a measure that would allow 
medical marijuana.

Even though recent polls show a large majority of D.C. voters favor 
Initiative 71, "I don't expect Congress to sit back while the 
nation's capital legalizes marijuana," said council member Tommy Wells.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom