Marijuana is going to be (kinda) legal this fall

The evidence is clear: D.C. voters want their weed and they want it legalized. According to a poll conducted by NBC4, the Post, and Marist, likely voters in the Nov. 4 election support marijuana legalization in a 2-to-1 ratio over those who don’t.

If passed, Initiative 71 will legalize possession, home cultivation, and the sale of weed paraphernalia. Up to two ounces of bud will be legal for anyone over 21.

Interestingly, as the Post points out, black voters have completely reversed their stance on the issue. Just four years ago, 37 percent of African Americans supported legalization, while 55 percent opposed it. Today, 56 percent are in favor, according to the poll.

The total change in position may be due to increased attention to the stark difference between marijuana arrest rates for blacks and whites in the District, despite almost identical rates of weed usage. Additionally, perceptions about any potential dangers of marijuana usage may have changed as more studies scientific and medical studies have been released about the drug in recent years.

Of course, legalization in D.C. will not change the federal legal status of marijuana. While that technicality has not mattered much at all in Colorado and Washington, legal weed is much more awkward for the federal government when it’s being used in its home city. D.C. legalization will likely press the issue at the national level even more.

Georgetown has already made its position clear: the legal status of weed on campus will depend entirely on its federal status.

Anyone who wants to help legalize weed and be on the right side of history should register to vote in D.C. here.

Photo: Stephen Stills via Flickr

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