FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2016
Poll: District Residents Overwhelmingly Back Action to Carry Out Voter-Passed Laws Blocked by Congress
Local leaders should pursue “all legal means” to secure DC voter approved marijuana reforms
Nearly eight in ten DC residents say the District’s elected leadership should, when feasible, implement laws passed by referendum or initiative that are now being blocked by Congress. These results were from a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling between January 22 and 24.
79 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that when Congress steps in to overturn a law enacted by DC voters, the District’s elected leaders, “should use all legal means to implement the measure anyway.”
“People strongly believe that when we have the tools available to implement voter-approved laws over the objections of Congress, our leaders should advance the will of the people,” said DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry. “This survey makes it clear that DC’s elected officials have strong, grassroots support should they move forward with plans to tax and regulate marijuana. DC residents are looking to their elected officials to show the nation that the District will take whatever steps are required to uphold our democratic rights.”
When provided with a specific, ongoing example of Congressional interference, 66 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that, “[t]he Mayor should pursue a legal method to allow Washington DC to allow marijuana to be taxed and regulated like alcohol.” Currently, Congress is blocking the tax and sale of marijuana through a provision in the federal spending bill for DC. Legal experts believe that the District can and should use well-established spending authority to move forward with a marijuana tax and regulate program.
“Asserting valid local authority over our own matters is a critical aspect of our fight for equal rights,” Perry said. “Congress has shown it is incapable of extending DC the same rights as other Americans, and now we know with certainly that the people of DC support efforts to assert those rights at the local level.”
Poll Methodology: Public Policy Polling interviewed 962 Washington, DC voters from January 22-24, 2016. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.2%. This survey was conducted using automated telephone interviews.