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D.C. Marijuana Legalization Advocates Add Former Doctor As Organizer

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The campaign to legalize marijuana in D.C. is adding a doctor to its ranks as organizers push to get their voter initiative on November's ballot.

The Drug Policy Alliance says its hired former surgeon Dr. Malik Burnett as a full-time organizer to help its legalization effort in D.C.

The group says Burnett will focus on the current voter initiative that aims to legalize the possession and home growing of marijuana in D.C. Initiative 71, as its known, was approved by the board of elections — it's now up to the organizers to gather nearly 24,000 signatures to make the November ballot.

Initiative 71 would allow a person to grow up to six plants at home and possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use.

It goes much further than the recent marijuana decriminalization bill passed by the D.C. Council this year. It's still unclear if Congress will take any action voiding D.C.'s attempts to loosen its marijuana laws. A house oversight committee held a hearing on the decriminalization bill earlier this month but so far has not taken any action.

If it survives Congress, the bill will become law this summer.

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