New petition aims to legalize pot in D.C.

WASHIINGTON (WJLA)- A new movement is underway to legalize marijuana in the District.

The DC Cannabis Campaign staff members left the board of elections building on Wednesday ready to gather the 23,000 valid signatures needed to put the measure, known as Initiative 71, on the ballot in November.

The group has already set up an office and are{ } vigorously working to convince as many as possible that, if legalized, marijuana can be taxed and made a revenue source for the District.

Proponents of the measure say more than 60,000 District residents regularly use marijuana at least once a week. This adds up to a billion dollars in untaxed sales each year.

The cannabis campaign has until July to collect the needed signatures.

This is different from D.C. Councilman's Tommy Wells Bill that was signed by Mayor Vincent Gray in March.{ } That bill decriminalized marijuana which means fines, not arrests, for possession.

Initiative 71 allows a person to possess up to two ounces for personal use and grow up to six plants. The plants can only be gifted and not sold.
While some D.C. residents are fond of the idea, many are not.
"I don't support it, we don't need any more drugs," said David Bardin, a resident of the District. " We just passed one law, let's make it work. But some people are just in a rush to get everything done all at once."