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DC’s Next Mayor Will Support Efforts to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

It is effectively guaranteed that the next Washington D.C. mayor will support efforts to create a taxed and regulated marijuana system for adults in the District. At a Thursday night NPR debate the top two mayoral candidates, Democrat Muriel Bowser and Independent David Catania, not only said they plan to vote for Initiative 71 but also intend to work with the Council to create a system for the regulated production and sale of recreational cannabis.

At issue is the fact that Initiative 71 would only legalize limited possession and home growing for adults but was prevented by the rules governing the initiative process from including provisions for a regulated retail marijuana system. Both Catania and Bowser would support additional legislation to address this short coming.

When asked about the initiative Bowser said, “I will support the initiative and I will sign it into law. And I will make sure we are being very careful about how we are going about setting the regulations.” She further went on to say she supports allowing retails stores and would look in to how the District handles medical marijuana as a possible blueprint.

Similarly Catania responded, “I encourage people to go out and support Initiative 71,” and added “I think we should regulate marijuana just as we do alcohol and we actually have a pretty good regime in place for an easy transition to legalization through our medical marijuana initiative where we have dispensaries and cultivation centers.”

Both top candidates stressed wanting to be careful about how the regulations are written and would look to Colorado and Washington State for possible guidance.

Independent Carol Schwartz was the only candidate at the debate to oppose marijuana legalization but her chances are winning are incredibly slim. The recent Marist poll of likely voters found her in a very distant third place with just 16 percent support compared to Bowser who is at 43 percent and Catania at 26 percent.

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DC’s Next Mayor Will Support Efforts to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

It is effectively guaranteed that the next Washington D.C. mayor will support efforts to create a taxed and regulated marijuana system for adults in the District. At a Thursday night NPR debate the top two mayoral candidates, Democrat Muriel Bowser and Independent David Catania, not only said they plan to vote for Initiative 71 but also intend to work with the Council to create a system for the regulated production and sale of recreational cannabis.

At issue is the fact that Initiative 71 would only legalize limited possession and home growing for adults but was prevented by the rules governing the initiative process from including provisions for a regulated retail marijuana system. Both Catania and Bowser would support additional legislation to address this short coming.

When asked about the initiative Bowser said, “I will support the initiative and I will sign it into law. And I will make sure we are being very careful about how we are going about setting the regulations.” She further went on to say she supports allowing retails stores and would look in to how the District handles medical marijuana as a possible blueprint.

Similarly Catania responded, “I encourage people to go out and support Initiative 71,” and added “I think we should regulate marijuana just as we do alcohol and we actually have a pretty good regime in place for an easy transition to legalization through our medical marijuana initiative where we have dispensaries and cultivation centers.”

Both top candidates stressed wanting to be careful about how the regulations are written and would look to Colorado and Washington State for possible guidance.

Independent Carol Schwartz was the only candidate at the debate to oppose marijuana legalization but her chances are winning are incredibly slim. The recent Marist poll of likely voters found her in a very distant third place with just 16 percent support compared to Bowser who is at 43 percent and Catania at 26 percent.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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