The fight for the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana has won one more battle. Washington DC is now on the list of places where at least small amounts of marijuana are legal to possess and use. In November, 70% of citizens approved Initive 71, which allows people 21 and older to posses up to 2 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 6 plants for their own personal use. Marijuana is still illegal to smoke in public places, but residents of DC are allowed to smoke in their own homes. Even though the bill passed in November, it did not go into effect until 12:01 AM on Feb 26.
This is another big victory in the fight to make marijuana legal. Sultan was telling me that he saw on CNN proponents of marijuana legalization and decriminalization argue that for many people with chronic diseases marijuana has a number of beneficial aspects, including relieving pain. For example, in cancer patients it has shown to reduce nausea and increase appetite, two things that are helpful to their recovery.
Marijuana advocates also argue that it is the safest drug available. They cite statistics that compare the effects of tobacco and alcohol, which are two currently legal drugs that can have serious negative consequences. Pro-marijuana advocates also point out that criminalizing marijuana has led to the overcrowding of jails and has split up otherwise happy families and kept otherwise productive citizens from holding down jobs and contributing to society.