English 002 Sec. 24
1 October 2014
Major Paper Two
A new poll recently taken in Washington DC shows that residents strongly favor legalizing small amounts of marijuana possession. On September 17th, the Washington Post released a poll that showed that 65 percent of likely voters said they would vote for a bill that legalized the possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana. In the District of Columbia the possession of pot was recently decriminalized, which means that an individual will not face criminal charges for possession of an ounce or less, and the smell of marijuana no longer gives an official grounds to search an individual. In addition, the District passed an amendment that temporarily permits the use of medical marijuana; however this legislation will expire on October 27. If this legislation is passed, it puts the District of Columbia with Colorado and Washington State as the only states that allow recreational marijuana; however Washington DC could face a much tougher time getting the bill passed. Since every bill that is passed must be sent to Congress for approval, Congress actually could fight and reject the bill to legalize pot.
The possible legislation of this bill could potentially affect not just residents of Washington D.C, but around the country. If the bill is passed, marijuana would be fully accessible to anyone over the age of 21 in Washington D.C., meaning that there would be no need for a doctor’s approval to obtain marijuana. So even if someone had a health condition that didn’t call for the use of medical marijuana, they would still be able to smoke pot. On the other hand, the legalization of pot would make it accessible to many more people, which is why some people are worried about its legalization. For instance, an underage teenager could possibly obtain pot from an older relative or through the means of counterfeit identification cards. In addition, some fear that the legalization of pot in the nation’s capital could lead to a domino effect, and that many other states would do the same, which would make pot accessible to the hundreds of millions of people who smoke pot, whether it be for recreation or for medical reasons.