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Poll Shows Legalization Initiative on Path to Victory in D.C.

The American people want Congress to adopt this amendment.

All signs indicate the people of D.C. will vote in favor of legalizing marijuana next week. A new survey by Public Policy Polling for Washington City Paper and the Kojo Nnamdi Show found Initiative 71 leading with 52 percent of likely voters planning to vote for it and only 35 percent planning to vote against it. The remaining 13 percent are still undecided.

Initiative 71 would make it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow a few plants in their own home. The measure doesn’t include provisions allowing for the regulated sale and tax of marijuana like we have seen in Colorado and Washington State, only because D.C.’s initiative law wouldn’t allow it.

The campaign’s hope is that a strong vote for the initiative will get the D.C. Council to adopt their own regulation law. So far it appears the Council is already preparing to go that route if the initiative wins. On Thursday the Council will hold its first hearing on a bill to create a system of licensed, taxed and regulated adult use marijuana stores.

A Marist poll from last month did find a much higher level of support with 65 percent of likely voters inclined to back the initiative and 33 percent opposed, but that poll pushed voters hard to make a decision. It included definite supporters and those leaning one way, so it had just two percent listed as truly undecided. Based on that it is probably safe to assume most of the undecided in this PPP poll will end up voting yes on Tuesday.

Graphic by Mike Licht under Creative Commons license

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at