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Council of the District of Columbia Joint Public Hearing

Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs,


Committee on Finance and Revenue, and Committee on the Judiciary

B21-023, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015


B21-025, the Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015
10:00am, Monday, February 9, 2015
John A. Wilson Building, Room 500 | 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

Good morning Council Chairmen Orange, Evans and McDuffie, members of the Council and committee staff.
My name is Martin Moulton, Im a home owner in the Ward 6 Shaw Community, a public volunteer on the
ANC6E public safety committee and a member of the DC Libertarian Party. I am here to voice support for Bill
21-023, caution about Bill 21-025 and clarify that Libertarians oppose all attempt of the Federal government to
override local government affairs which represent the goals and desires of citizens.
Re: B21-023, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015
The War on Drugs has been condemned by the Libertarian Party since both began in 1971. Libertarians pride
ourselves on being more socially liberal than democrats and more fiscally conservative than republicans. The
War on Drugs has been a disasterous failure in reducing drug use and abuse by individuals and yet at the
same time a brilliant success in wasting tax payer dollars, increasing the size of government, limiting personal
liberty, poisoning the relationship between front line law enforcement officers and the citizens they protect and
serve, perpetuating violence in poor communities, and padding the pockets of private and government workers
from attorneys, judges and court and jail officials to the cottage industry of bogus organizations feeding at
the trough, of tax payer revenue, purporting to help those ensnared in the criminal justice vortex because of
their non violent drug use which harms no one but users themselves.
The War on Drugs has perpetuated a violent criminal black market which enables and empowers violent and
menacing drug pushers, destroys communities, shames addicts and those in recovery, lures low income children
into the fast cash violent black market on the street, and clogs our criminal justice system. This drug black market
is filled with violent illegal gun users who use threats, intimidation, and violence to regulate the trade because
the enormous amounts of illicit tax free cash they carry makes them vulnerable to desperados and gives them no
recourse to seek protection from police.
Case in point: Thomas Butler, 2014 CF2 17465, who pled guilty for felony attempted possession with intent
to distribute heroin while armed with a .38 calibre pistol. Butler was arrested two blocks from my home in Shaw
several weeks ago with a bag of more than $13,000.00 dollars in cash in his possession.
As you law makers tolerate and perpetuate the devastating effects of the War on Drugs on communities,
families and individuals by incrementally addressing the regulation of marijuana, I urge you to defy
Congressional officials bent on maintaining the status quo and move swiftly to put in place reasonable
regulations and taxation for marijuana which can be a model for all drug regulation. Overtaxing marijuana
sales, like New Yorks exorbitant cigarette taxes, will only lead to the creation of another black market and
result in perpetuating current social pathologies. But reasonable taxes could help fund desperately needed
drug education, prevention, intervention and recovery programs.
The legislation requires Mayor Bowser to establish a public information campaign on the impact of marijuana
use and abuse. This is best done by requiring prominent labelling on all marijuana packaging and signage
within retail establishments which includes science based facts on risks, safe dosages and interactions
accompanied by internet and telephone hotline contacts for emergency treatment and support for recovering
addicts and their families. You should prohibit retailers from promoting sales and deals in their windows or on
exterior walls, unlike current alcohol retailers, to keep such marketing away from children. Many recovering
alcoholics and other drug addicts can attest to the fact that the District does a poor job of providing resources
for recovery services; such services should be the primary recipient of tax revenue from legal drugs.
Although Libertarians insist on keeping government out of peoples personal lives and bedrooms and from
ruining the lives in profiting off drug users and abusers further by criminalizing their non violent behavior, no
one should suggest that we encourage tobacco, alcohol or other drug use; what we encourage personal
responsibility for all behavior. One of my closest and longest friends here in DC, who's had a several
successful careers, owns several homes, and graduated in the top of his class from American University law
school, still attends weekly alcohol and narcotics anonymous meetings after being drug free for more than
20 years. He readily admits that marijuana clouded his judgement as an abuser, when he would often spend all
of his disposable income on drugs and end up begging from others for food.

Council of the District of Columbia Joint Public Hearing


Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs,
Committee on Finance and Revenue, and Committee on the Judiciary

B21-023, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015


B21-025, the Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015
10:00am, Monday, February 9, 2015
John A. Wilson Building, Room 500 | 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

Which brings me to your second bill today:


Re: B21-025, the Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015
Government should in no way limit employer's rights to hire who they need to help their businesses
succeed. There is no escaping the reality that the best applicant will often be the best educated, most skilled,
most healthy and drug free applicant. Employers, particularly small business owners already over
burdened by regulations and taxes should not be further restricted by having government meddle and
dictate hiring practices, since only business owners know best how to make their businesses succeed. Any of
you who know small business owners know this to be true.
It is incumbent upon all applicants and employees to take personal responsibility for maintaining their
fitness for employment. Someone with a legitimate prescription for marijuana will surely have a legal excuse
for using a prescription, but an employer must be free to choose who will be most fit to help their business
prosper by using any metric they desire. Given the added expense of drug testing, an employer like Marriott
which does conduct drug tests for all applicants should be free to weigh whether drug tests are a worthwhile
process for them to find the most qualified staff. Since cognitive abilities can be impaired by marijuana use and
abuse, every employer should have the right to determine if they wish to hire someone based on their
substance habits and notable history. For example: A trucking to taxi company shouldnt be precluded from
knowing whether an applicant has drug habits or prior DUI convictions that might impact that workers ability to
perform their duties or hold a drivers license.
All too often in the District, I hear about those who CHOOSE to drop out of school, CHOOSE to commit crimes,
and/or CHOOSE to use drugs, who are delusional enough to believe that employers arent also entitled to
CHOOSE when deciding among hundreds of applicants in a competitive process.
Contrary to Bill 21-025 and the recent sham "ban the box" legislation, employers must maintain the right and
freedom to investigate and question who they hire and expect honest answers in part because employers
will eventually find out who their employees are anyway if and when problems arise that affect their business.
Government shouldnt put ridiculous meaningless blindfolds on job creators. (If an applicant has been
incarcerated for a year or more and has a gaping hole in their job history, employers will undoubtedly notice;
they should exclusively have the right to exclude those individuals from the application process or not. Its
incumbent on applicants to honestly address and take responsibility for their job, educational and criminal
history and work earnestly to make themselves competitive with the 98% of society who have never been
convicted of crimes who must themselves work hard to make their own qualifications stand out.)
In Fairfax, Virginia, according to Police Chief Lanier (in a video posted to YouTube), police officers are drug
tested and prohibited from even using tobacco products off duty; in the same video, Chief Lanier said she
wishes she had the ability to easily evaluate and discipline alcohol substance in MPD abusers: http://
youtu.be/_5hEGZNojM4?t=5m14s. (Its a frightening to know that you DC officials would even allow alcoholic
drug abusers on our police force carrying lethal firearms in sensitive and volatile situations.)
Although tax payers should never have to pay for ongoing drug related absenteeism or drug related illnesses of
government workers or elected officials, private employers should be able to make up their own policies about
what type of drug use they wish to tolerate. Some will tolerate and accommodate smokers, alcoholics, and
marijuana users others will not. Ultimately, employers know how best to help their businesses and
organizations succeed and the standards they want to exemplify in their field and to the public.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Martin Moulton
1510 Fifth Street NW, Washington DC 20001
(202) 422-1161, MrMoulton@gmail.com