Rejoice, citizens of our nation’s capital, for this morning cannabis is sort of legal, and your mayor roams free. As of today, anyone over age 21 is able to consume marijuana in a home they own and grow up to six plants, with three flowering. You can possess up to two ounces, though not on federal land, where it remains completely illegal. In an effort to bring about the end of capitalism, district lawmakers made sure no one is licensed to sell the plant, but you are allowed to give it away for free. The District’s new motto: “Home grow, home use.” No buying. No selling. Just hugs until everyone gets more confident.
This comes after months of posturing and intimidation, mostly from a few loud Republicans, who at one point vaguely threatened DC Mayor Muriel Bowser with jail time: “You can go to prison for this,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told the Washington Post, “we’re not playing a little game here.” Pork-chops-and-gravy-breakfast Andy Harris (R-Md.) echoed Chaffetz’s mustache-twirling ominousness, even going so far as to use the word ‘ought’ in a modern sentence: “those people ought to be very afraid, because the penalties are severe.”
Bowser refused to back down, and while she acknowledged that her “being in jail wouldn’t be a good thing,” she was clear about her responsibilities: “making sure the will of the voters is implemented…that’s my job and that’s what I’m going to do.” At the moment “there’s no talk of litigation,” according to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
Big changes will be coming for the nation’s capital, and, by extension, the east coast. Business owner and cannabis activist Adam Eidinger, whose Capitol Hemp store was closed two years ago, plans to reopen in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood. Eidinger, a major proponent of I-71 who campaigned tirelessly to ensure its success, looks forward to operating a shop where freedom of speech is permitted: “If you said you were going to use a pipe for marijuana we would tell you to leave…We don’t have to play that game anymore.”
And until businesses are licensed and regulated, this will have major effects on the black market surrounding DC. One anonymous dealer, a government contractor by day, intends to continue selling the roughly four ounces a week he sold before February 26, just with fewer risks: “This makes it easier to stay in because it’s safer.”
So, if one random guy – a government contractor even – is moving four ounces a week, and he sells his cannabis for $60 an eighth, even if you round down to $400 dollars an ounce, that makes $1,600 of unregulated, untaxed product being sold per week in DC right now, by just one person. That works out to $83,200 in untaxed sales a year, which means that over the coming months and years we are going to see a lot of people making a lot of money, but we won’t necessarily know who. Let’s hope they’re feeling charitable and donate some of their earnings to schools and other worthy causes.
Nicely done, Andy Harris. Nicely done.