It was a brutally humid Friday afternoon in June. The unbearable heat seemed to force everything and everyone to move at half speed, causing a feeling of inescapable boredom to wash over me. Just when I could feel myself slipping into a drowsy, “auto-pilot mode,” my phone trumpeted the arrival of a text. It was from a friend inviting me to join him on an adventure to D.C. to attend a pop-up event that evening. The primary reason for the event? Promoting and distributing cannabis products of all kinds via the legal loopholes created by Initiative 71. It was spontaneous, it was mildly risky, and it was just the cure I needed for the impending boredom.
Before I delve into the details of this story, a quick lesson on the current marijuana laws within our Nation’s Capital:
- Initiative 71, passed in 2014 by D.C. voters and became effective on February 26th, 2015, allows anyone over 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, grow up to six plants in their home (no more than three plants can be mature), and give away up to one ounce of marijuana to another person over the age of 21.
- You can still be arrested if you smoke or consume marijuana in public, have more than two ounces, or sell any amount of marijuana.
- Under federal law, however, federal law enforcement officers can still arrest anyone in the District for possession of any amount of marijuana. This means that you cannot smoke or ingest marijuana on federal property in D.C. (which accumulates to 29% of the city).