From the blog of the Marijuana Policy Project:
The D.C. Board of Elections has officially certified Ballot Initiative 71 for November’s general election. If passed by a majority of D.C. voters, Initiative 71 will repeal all criminal and civil penalties for the personal possession and limited, private cultivation of marijuana. Passage of this initiative will be yet another step towards sensible marijuana policies in our nation’s capital, so make sure your voter registration is current if you are a D.C. resident so you can vote “yes” on November 4. - See more here.
Political analysts believe that the measure is almost certain to pass (and by 'political analysts', I mean, 'I') in the significantly left-leaning Nation's Capital. However, if history is any guide, Congress may step in to override the will of the voters. In 1998, after DC residents passed a law legalizing medicinal marijuana, Republicans used the appropriations process to attach riders prohibiting the District government from enacting the law. Congress succeeded in blocking implementation for 10 years. D.C. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton has serious flow on this topic, "“We will not let history repeat itself. Republicans tried to prevent D.C. from voting on an initiative in 1998 to legalize medical marijuana, and after voters approved it, blocked its implementation with an appropriations rider for more than 10 years. We are not surprised that Republicans are threatening to again use the power of the federal government to block the will of the voters of a local jurisdiction. Many Republicans abandon their professed support of local control of local affairs when they have an opportunity to bully the residents of the District, who cannot hold them accountable at the ballot box. We have already begun working with our allies to protect the will of D.C. voters.”
in at least a few statistical examples, the opposite results of those predicted by fearmongers like Rep. John Mica (R-Fla), who said, "We are going to have a lot more people stoned on the highway and there will be consequences."
Andrew Sullivan, a long-time advocate of legalization, said today, "One longstanding theory is that more pot use will mean less alcohol use. You can’t infer than from this data, but it sure looks encouraging. Can you imagine what prohibition will look like in retrospect if it emerges that legalizing weed saves lots of lives?"
Well, yeah. It'll look like a lot of other things that an increasingly irrelevant generation of mostly white men in power clung to in order to protect a status quo that maybe didn't need protecting. We'll still see raging at the dying of the light, without question, but I'd wager that we'll see legalization at the Federal level within 10 years.
Sooner, if Congress gets its hands on some legal D.C. weed.