Residents and visitors to Washington, D.C., will soon be able to possess, share and grow marijuana under a new law. But that law doesn’t allow for the creation of a regulated marijuana industry, raising a key question: How will people obtain the drug?
The Washington Post’s Aaron Davis reports on the situation in a story with a headline that refers to the situation as “cannabis chaos.”
In December, after voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum to legalize pot use, opponents in Congress tried to upend the result by blocking any new rules establishing legal ways to sell it, protections for those caught purchasing it or taxes to cover its social costs.
D.C. officials say that Congress’s action did not halt the initiative, but it did set the city up for potential chaos. Barring last-minute federal intervention, the District’s attorney general said that pot will become legal as early as Feb. 26 without any regulations in place to govern a new marketplace that is likely to explode into view.
The law allows people 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of cannabis and to grow up to six immature plants and three mature ones.
Even advocates worry that the predicament will lead to an unregulated industry or a free-for-all of home growers “testing the limits of a law that does not allow for public consumption or sale.”
Already there’s talk of cannabis clubs, where consumers can use and share the drug. A marijuana seed sale is in the works for sometime next month.
Others hope to offer high-end catered dinners cooked in marijuana-infused oils; recently, an underground test dinner was served a mile-and-a-half north of the White House.
“Where can it be bought? Sold? Eaten? Smoked? We’re not going to have answers to any of that, and that makes me very concerned,” said D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large). And as the consequences play out in the nation’s capital, he said, it could set back the entire movement: “Let’s be responsible about how we do this so we don’t have a negative image coming out.”
Other marijuana headlines:
Marijuana Law Classes Take Hazy Place In College Curriculum (CBS Denver)
Colorado’s Marijuana Money Going Up In Smoke (NPR)
— Noelle Crombie