It was a short fiesta for marijuana smokers and advocates in the nation’s capital – after just five days of pot being legal in Washington, the D.C. Council voted to approve new limitations on marijuana use. The new legislation not only outlaws smoking inside bars and clubs, but literally everywhere outside of a private home. The legislation was introduced last week by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser.
Crushed pot dreams
Marijuana enthusiasts who had hoped to share a smoke with their fellows outside of their houses will have to forget about their “dreams” and continue to getting their cannabis hits behind the closed doors of their homes, only this time they’d be doing it legally. The same goes for entrepreneurs who had hoped to start cashing in on the “green rush” with business endeavors that included cannabis-themed events and clubs. They are allowed to open hemp stores and sell cannabis accessories, but that’s not what these people were hoping for and certainly not what the advocates have been fighting for.
Call for a protest march on April 20th
The DC Cannabis Campaign chairman, Adam Eidinger, has publicly expressed his disagreement with the new regulations and called for a protest on the numerically significant date of April 20th. For those of you who don’t know the story behind 4/20, in cannabis culture it is a code-term that refers to the consumption of cannabis and also as a way to identify oneself with cannabis culture itself. It can be expressed in any form you can think of, from smoking cannabis at 4:20 am or pm on any given day as well as smoking and celebrating pot on the date of April 20th. Ever since 4/20 became an insider’s catchphrase during the 1970s, theories about its origin have multiplied like viruses, raising it to the level of urban myth. “I see no reason not to protest with a massive smoke-in for communal use,” Eidinger said in a tweet shortly before the vote.
Congress is blocking pot legalization
In November last year, voters approved Initiative 71 to legalize marijuana. It took effect on February 26, when the District joined Alaska, Colorado and Washington State in legalizing the possession of marijuana for recreational use. Residents and tourists are allowed to possess up to 2 ounces and can smoke and grow cannabis at their home. The story took an interesting turn when Congress blocked the city from adopting a regulatory scheme that would allow for legal sales of cannabis. That has left many ganjapreneurs in an awkward and potentially dangerous position where they have to search for ways around the lack of a legal marketplace for marijuana. The new controversial legislation gives the mayor the power to cancel the business license, certificate of occupancy (or any other city permit) of any business where marijuana is smoked or consumed. DC residents who voted in favor of Initiative 71 only to see their newly gained freedom being severely restricted are left with question marks above their heads. And so are we. It’s not that we support smoking in public in every single location (or occasion) it’s just that we can’t stand these hypocritical legislations. If cannabis smokers (and businesses) are treated this way, then alcohol consumers should be too. How do you feel about this controversy?