Loose Lips

Pot Legalization Campaign Predicts Signature Success

This week has been rough for the District's friends of the friendly herb, with a House committee voting to block the use of city funds for decriminalizing marijuana. It's not all bad news, though. After a rocky start, a top organizer behind a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana says that the measure should have enough signatures to get on the ballot next month.

Adam Eidinger, the activist organizing the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, says that the group has collected 52,000 signatures and is aiming to collect a total of 60,000 by July 7, when it will turn in the petition to the D.C. Board of Elections. After the elections board looks at the signatures, 22,373 of them will need to be valid before the measure can be certified for the November ballot.

"We believe we have the signatures right now," Eidinger tells LL.

Things weren't always so bright for the prospects of legal marijuana in the District. In May, LL paid a visit to the campaign's Embassy Row headquarters and witnessed a dejected Eidinger smoking a joint outside his office after lackluster signature returns. Eidinger says the low early totals showed him how dire the situation was.

“My balls are out there and about to be chopped off," Eidinger recalls thinking.

If the initiative gets on the ballot, Eidinger says he and his organization would like to spend some time in Ocean City, Md., campaigning against Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), the primary backer of the House Republican attack on marijuana decriminalization. Then again, since Harris could have accidentally legalized the drug already in the District, maybe Eidinger should be campaigning for him instead.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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