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D.C. Council Holds Hearing On Marijuana Legalization, Taxation and Regulation

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Policy Experts and Advocates Testify in Favor of Directing Proceeds from Taxation to Communities Harmed by War on Drugs

Hearing Occurs As Initiative 71 Undergoes 30-Day Congressional Review

D.C. Councilmembers on Monday held a joint public hearing on legislation introduced earlier this year that would establish a system that legalizes, taxes and regulates marijuana in the nation’s capital.

The “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015”, B21-023, would establish a regulatory infrastructure for the production and sale of marijuana to adults 21 years of age and older in D.C. It would also create a dedicated fund for excise and sales tax revenue, and beginning in FY2017, the first $350,000 collected every three months would be directed to the D.C. Youth Court.

The next $500,000 collected every three months would be used for drug and alcohol prevention and treatment, and any remaining revenue would go to the general fund. Licensing fees and other non-tax revenues would be retained by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to cover the costs of administering the regulatory system.

The hearing took place in Room 500 of the D.C. Council Chambers at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. Advocates provided testimony in support of using the proceeds from legalization toward rebuilding the communities most harmed by the war on drugs.

D.C.: Congress Still Negotiating District Marijuana Legalization

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Congress May Allow D.C. Legalization Law to Stand, But Block D.C. Council From Taxing and Regulating Marijuana

Opportunity to Restore Communities Most Harmed By War on Drugs in Jeopardy

In a dramatic turn of events, media reports suggest that Congress is still negotiating whether to overturn D.C.’s historic marijuana legalization initiative. Currently, sources are reporting that Congress is considering allowing Initiative 71, approved by 70 percent of District residents, to stand while preventing future action on the District of Columbia’s ability to tax and regulate marijuana.

These reports stand in sharp contrast to a previously reported deal that would have stopped the ballot measure from taking effect.

“It’s outrageous that Congress would even consider overriding the 70 percent of D.C. voters who supported November’s marijuana legalization initiative,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “While we are encouraged by reports that D.C.’s legalization law may survive, Democratic leadership can do much more.

"We are deeply troubled by reports that the final language will prevent the District from taxing and regulating marijuana,” Collins said.

D.C.: Council Bans Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The D.C. Council on Tuesday passed temporary legislation prohibiting employers from testing potential employees for marijuana before a job offer has been made.

The "Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Emergency Act of 2014," introduced by Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At Large) in March, states that employers cannot test potential employees for marijuana use until after an offer for employment has been made, reports Matt Cohen at DCist.

That's where the good news ends, though; after employees have been hired, they "must still adhere to the workplace policies set forth by their employer."

“The citizens of the District voted for Initiative 71, to legalize marijuana, and this bill will protect citizens who legally smoke marijuana but are then subsequently penalized for it through loss of employment opportunities,” Orange said. “The bill aims to prevent the loss of a job opportunity for job seekers who have used marijuana prior to receiving a job offer but it does not remove an employer’s right to prohibit the use of drugs at work or at any time during employment.”

Photo of Vincent Orange: WAMU

D.C.: Nation's Capital Takes Major Step Toward Taxing and Regulating Marijuana

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Panel of Councilmembers Approves Legislation that Would Establish Licensing and Regulation of Marijuana in Washington, D.C.

Council Acts Just Weeks After Nearly 70% of D.C. Voters Approved Ballot Measure Legalizing Marijuana

D.C. lawmakers on Tuesday voted in favor of legislation that would legally regulate and license the production, distribution and sale of marijuana in the District of Columbia during a meeting of the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which is chaired by D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-At Large).

Tuesday's action by D.C. lawmakers on a tax and regulate bill comes just three weeks after nearly 70 percent of voters in the District of Columbia approved Initiative 71, a ballot initiative that legalizes possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and allows individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. However, due to D.C. law, the initiative was not allowed to address the taxation and regulation of marijuana sales.

The panel of Councilmembers voted to approve sections six through eight of the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013” (Council Bill #20-466), which was introduced in 2013 by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large). Tuesday's vote followed a hearing on Council Bill 20-466 that was jointly held by the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the Committee on Finance and Revenue.

D.C.: Council Holds Hearing On Marijuana Legalization In Nation's Capital

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Policy Experts and Advocates Testify in Favor of Directing Proceeds from Taxation to Communities Harmed by War on Drugs

Hearing Occurs Just Days Before Voters Decide on Marijuana Legalization at Ballot Box

D.C. Councilmembers Vincent Orange (D-At Large) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 3) on Thursday are holding a joint public hearing on legislation introduced in 2013 by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) that would establish a system which legalizes, taxes and regulates marijuana in the nation’s capital. Councilmember Orange chairs the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs and Councilmember Evans chairs the Committee on Finance and Revenue.

The hearing specifically examined sections six through nine of the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013” (Council Bill #20-466), and took place Thursday at 11 a.m. in Room 500 of the D.C. Council Chambers located at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. Advocates provided testimony in support of using the proceeds from legalization towards rebuilding the communities harmed by the war on drugs.

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