Register and Vote on Initiative 71

Register and Vote on Initiative 71

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GWU SSDP Policy and Legislative Affairs Director Greg Gaffney-Bills

Written by Greg Gaffney-Bills of George Washington University SSDP

Election Day is nearly upon us, but unfortunately, many college students here in the District are unable to vote for or against ballot measures and candidates that will have major impacts on our lives. Not because students are ineligible, or don’t want to vote, but because they haven’t registered. Local elections influence our day-to-day lives so much more than any national politician ever could, and it is our responsibility to lend our voices to the democratic process.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapters around DC, including here at GW, are hosting voter registration campaigns on campus. Many students believe they cannot register in DC if they’re registered in their hometowns, and still others don’t think they can register using their dorm’s address. Neither of those claims are true. If you live in Washington, which as college students, we all do, you are entitled to vote in Washington.

One ballot measure worth registering for is Initiative 71, which would legalize marijuana in the District for individuals over 21. Marijuana policy, on the national, local, and University level has far reaching consequences for college students. Right now, students could lose federal student aid and be evicted from GW housing for their first marijuana offense. The resounding passage of Initiative 71 could help to change all that, but only if we work together and harder than ever.

Contact your local SSDP chapter, register to vote, then join us in the fight to bring sensible drug policy to our campus and our country.