Voters in D.C. voted decisively Tuesday to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Washington.
Because voters approved Initiative 71, it will become legal to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, grow up to six plants, and share (but not sell) up to an ounce of marijuana to anyone 21 or older. The measure also makes it legal to use or sell drug paraphernalia related to marijuana.
But Not So Fast...
A passing vote doesn't mean pot becomes legal immediately. Bills passed in the District must be submitted to Congress for approval. Congress then has up to 60 legislative days to take action on the bill.
And the District's new mayor, Muriel Bowser, District council and city regulators will have to pass laws on how pot will be sold and regulated, as they do with alcohol.
Council began considering whether to allow the legal sale of marijuana last week, but setting up the regulatory process could take until well into 2016.
Earlier this year, the council had voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot. Simple possession is now subject to a $25 fine.
Meanwhile, the passing vote does not legalize pot possession on federal land, which is everywhere in D.C. -- including many parks, Dupont Circle and the National Mall.
In addition, it will remain legal for employers to screen applicants and employees for drug use.