Now on the ballot
It was up to the residents of Washington DC to vote on Initiative 71, along with vigorous campaigning, the citizens overwhelmingly passed Initiative 71 (71%), Washington DC residents sent a crystal clear message to the DC Government. Cannabis arrests and incarceration.(primarily in minority communities) was no longer acceptable behavior by the police and judges. With this historic victory, some major obstacles still were on the horizon. Even with the victory, 2 barriers had to be knocked down before i-71 becomes law. States in the US that have propositions become law after the votes are counted. Washington DC initiative has to be approved by 2 separate bodies: the DC city council and Congress. At first the newly elected mayor bowser was on record stating she wanted to delay implementation of i-71 for further regulation. But there was a far more ominous enemy of i-71 looming in the shadows, the Federal Government. Congress has historically medaled in DC affairs after giving DC semi-autonomy in the 1970s. A deal between Democrats and Republicans gave DC I-71 as is but prevented DCs local governing body to implement a cannabis tax and regulate system. An initiative in Washington DC cannot put a tax and regulate structure in its initiative. I-71 was always intended to be a Personal Freedom Initiative to give home possession, processing, and cultivation to DC residents over 21. Without tax and regulate on the table for DC, The DC council decided not to delay the initiative and passed it, as is becoming DC law.