District voters have approved a ballot initiative legalizing possession and home cultivation of marijuana by a wide margin. With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Initiative 71, as it is officially known, is supported by 68 percent of voters.
The initiative, which comes just months after the District ended criminal penalities for small-time possession, permits adults to hold up to two ounces of pot and grow up to six plants at home. It does not establish any kind of regulated and taxed retail market, although the DC Council plans to create a framework similar to those established earlier this year in Colorado and Washington state.
Of course, the initiative’s fate ultimately rests on Congress’s authority to review all DC legislation, but Adam Eidinger, the pro-legalization campaign’s leader, is optimistic federal lawmakers will not intervene.
Supporters of the initiative are partying tonight at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights. But remember, if you want to celebrate with buds instead of beer, don’t do it in public.