united commercial food workers

D.C.: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Receives Major Labor Endorsements

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D.C. Working Families, SEIU, and UCFW Endorse Initiative 71

Labor Groups Point to Elimination of Discriminatory Enforcement and Opportunities to Advance Worker Rights

The Service Employees International Union, United Commercial Food Workers, and D.C. Working Families on Tuesday endorsed Initiative 71, D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative. Initiative 71, which is on the November 4th ballot, would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allows individuals to grow up to six plants in their home.

D.C. laws prevent the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, however, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which would account for such provisions.

"These major labor endorsements show that the elimination of marijuana prohibition is an issue of significant importance to workers in the District of Columbia," said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). "Initiative 71 would eliminate unfairly harsh punishments for minors offenses, making it less likely that our young people get a lifelong criminal record that makes it harder to get a job, an apartment or credit card."

The possession of one ounce of marijuana is currently decriminalized in the District of Columbia, and persons found with more than this amount face a $25 civil infraction. Data from the Metropolitan Police Department reveals that 77 percent of tickets written during decriminalization have been in communities of color.

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