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D.C. Elections Board To Decide If Marijuana Legalization Gets On Ballot

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The D.C. Board of Elections will decide within a week if a measure to legalize marijuana will make it on November's ballot.

Proponents of an initiative to make it legal to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow three plants took their case to the Board of Elections on Tuesday, hoping to overcome opposition from D.C. Attorney General Irv Nathan.

Last week, Nathan told the board that he believes the initiative would violate a federal law requiring tenants in public housing to be evicted if they commit any drug offenses. If the initiative passes, D.C. would be forbidden from denying any public service including housing  based on marijuana offenses.

At today's hearing, board members expressed concern about whether landlords would be able to evict tenants who smoke marijuana. Adam Eidinger, the initiative's author, said that legalizing marijuana wouldn't stop landlords from prohibiting tenants from using it, provided they write it into the lease.

If the board gives the initiative the go-ahead, Eidinger will still have to collect some 25,000 signatures to get it on November's ballot.

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