Facing opposition from the District’s attorney general, supporters of a referendum to decriminalize marijuana withdrew their proposed ballot initiative today. But according to Adam Eidinger, one of the referendum’s backers, that was all part of the plan.
The initiative includes language offering drug treatment and awareness. That runs afoul of the District’s prohibition on referendums appropriating city money, according to an Aug. 27 letter from attorney general Irv Nathan. Eidinger says he was testing the city to see what its reaction would be.
He plans to resubmit by the end of next week.When he does, the initiative will have language legalizing marijuana possession in the District, instead of just replacing criminal fines with possession with civil ones. Unlike Councilmember Tommy Wells‘ decriminalization bill, which is expected to pass the D.C. Council sometime in the fall, Eidinger’s initiative also legalizes home marijuana growing.
“This initiative is going to look very different when we resubmit it,” Eidinger says.
Update: Eidinger plans to resubmit his initiative by the end of next week, not this week.
Cannabis photo via Shutterstock