Washington DC Cannabis Arrests Persist Despite Legalization
August 17th, 2015
Policy, Top Story
Washington DC legalized recreational marijuana in November of 2014, which made it legal to use up to two ounces of marijuana and possess and cultivate up to three marijuana plants. Despite over 70% of voters approving the measure, Congress has prevented its implementation by blocking funding to enact the measure with a rider in its $1.1 trillion spending bill, which has effectively halted any conversations among city council.
After the city council made plans to meet in February of 2015, DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine warned that such a meeting would constitute an expenditure of city funds toward legalization and would be a violation of federal law. Racine made it clear that fines and even jail time could be the result if the council ignored this warning, which led to the meeting ultimately being abandoned and the program remaining in somewhat of a limbo.
There have been 120 marijuana-related arrests in Washington DC since legalization, including several consumptions related charges. As written, the law permits users to consume marijuana, but doesn’t permit the purchase or sale of the drug, which makes the lines between illegal and legal very blurry. By contrast, the city’s medical marijuana program has more than 3,800 enrollees and is managed by the DC Department of Health.
“DC is kind of like the Alice in Wonderland of cannabis,” said Alex Jeffrey to the Washington Post. “The Queen of Hearts is Congress. Recreational and regulation should go hand in hand. We are an exception to the rule.”
In the end, it will likely be several years before the situation improves in Washington DC, since the federal government remains quite behind the public on the matter. It may take a federal legalization measure to ultimately fulfill the wishes of 70% of citizens.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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