Usually when a politician is caught accepting marijuana, it’s a major controversy. But yesterday in Washington D.C., it was no big deal.
Marijuana legalization activists went to a Washington D.C. City Council yesterday to push the city to allow recreational marijuana sales. As part of their protest, the activists handed out joints to anyone who could prove they were 21 or over, and some of the city’s politicians even accepted some marijuana as well.
In 2014, Washington D.C. voters approved a ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana sales in the city. However, Congress did not like this, and passed a budget rider banning cannabis sales in the city and forbidding the D.C. City Council from passing laws that would reduce marijuana penalties.
While the city is banned from selling marijuana, businesses have gotten around this by having customers purchase items, such as a mason jar, that comes with a gifted amount of cannabis. Selling marijuana may be illegal, but gifting it is not.
However, this gifting strategy isn’t entirely legal either, and police often raid businesses that engage in the practice. The activists who went to the Wilson Building yesterday were bringing attention to an increase in recent raids by the Washington D.C. police.
While some of the council members who accepted the gift marijuana say they want to help change the city’s laws, it’s not entirely clear whether they have the authority to do so without Congress intervening.
So until then, it’s probably best that you avoid cannabis in our nation’s capital.