Medical marijuana to be on D.C. ballot

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 19 2002 12:00 AM ET

Officials in Washington, D.C., announced Tuesday that a petition calling for a ballot initiative to legalize medicinal marijuana in the district has garnered enough signatures to place the measure on the November 5 ballot, The Washington Times reports.

Medical marijuana was on the district's ballot in 1998, but a federal appropriations bill for the district prevented the city from tabulating the results of the initiative that year. The Marijuana Policy Project filed suit against federal lawmakers, who have jurisdiction over the district, on the grounds that the provision stopping the counting of votes on the initiative was unconstitutional. In March the U.S. district court backed the Marijuana Policy Project, paving the way for the collection of signatures to place the initiative on this year's ballot.

The U.S. Department of Justice has appealed that ruling, and a decision is expected by September 25. The district's election board is awaiting the court's decision before beginning to print ballots for district voters.