muriel bowser

Washington, DC: Mayor To Propose Doubling Marijuana Possession Limit For Patients

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The possession and use of medical marijuana is legal in Washington, D.C. for those who receive a recommendation from a physician. Patients can purchase their weed from a licensed dispensary, although they can only purchase and possess up to two ounces in a given month. However, that may soon change as the district’s mayor will soon introduce a proposal that would double this limit.

Mayor Muriel Bowser “will propose doubling to 4 ounces how much weed medical marijuana patients can buy a month,” according to Aaron C. Davis, a reporter for the Washington Post.

Medical marijuana legalization was approved by voters in 1998 in the District of Columbia, just two years after the first state (California) legalized the medicine. However, the law wasn’t implemented, and the first dispensary didn’t open, until 2013 due to Congress continually blocking it. Now the system is up and running smoothly, though many patients and patient advocates do consider many portions of the law to be too restrictive, including the two ounce limit.

The possession and personal cultivation of recreational cannabis is legal for everyone 21 and older in D.C., in addition to the medical marijuana being legal, thanks to an initiative approved by voters in 2014.

District Of Columbia: Private Marijuana Clubs Banned

District of Columbia Council banned private marijuana clubs today.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The DC Council voted to ban private marijuana clubs for marijuana consumption on Tuesday, making the District's cannabis legalization laws even more perplexing. The bill banning the clubs passed with a vote of 7 to 6 and now goes to Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has already said she supports prohibiting them.

In 2014 Initiative was passed on the ballot referendum by a more than two-to-one margin, legalizing the possession, home cultivation, and private consumption of marijuana for adults. The initiative prohibits use in public venues, such as parks. Today's approved legislation modifies DC's law to add private membership organizations to the list of public venues.

The new text reads: “For the purposes of this provision, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a private club, which includes any building, facility or premise used or operated by an organization or association for a common avocational purpose, such as a fraternal, social, educational, or recreational purpose, is considered a place to which the public is invited.”

D.C.: Council Reverses Opposition To Regulated Spaces To Consume Marijuana

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Council Creates Taskforce to Explore Creation of Designated Spaces for Marijuana Use

The Council of the District of Columbia on Tuesday voted to halt consideration of legislation that would permanently ban adult consumption of marijuana outside the home, and instead moved forward with the creation of a task force to explore the establishment of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana in the District.

"The will of District voters was upheld today by the Council, which voted unanimously to move forward on establishing regulated places where adults can consume marijuana," said Kaitlyn Boecker with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “One year ago this Council voted unanimously to ban such spaces, stripping residents of their rights under Initiative 71, but today Councilmembers righted that wrong and voted for reform,” said Boecker.

Initiative 71, which was overwhelmingly approved by District voters in 2014, legalized the possession of up to two ounces marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and allowed individuals to grow up to six plants in their home. The implementation of Ballot Initiative 71 in the District has resulted in an unprecedented drop in arrests for possession of marijuana.

D.C. laws prevented the ballot initiative from addressing the taxation and sale of marijuana, which requires action by the D.C. Council. However more than a year ago, Congress blocked D.C. lawmakers from using locally raised public funds to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

D.C.: Residents Strongly Support Moving Forward With Marijuana Legalization

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Findings Come on the Cusp of Initiative 71 Implementation Anniversary and Amid Heated Council Debate on Prohibiting Social Consumption of Marijuana

Majority Oppose Congressional Interference with DC Law, View Marijuana Reform as a Statehood Issue, Believe Mayor Bowser Should Move to Tax & Regulate Marijuana, Support Regulated Venues for Social Consumption

A substantial majority of District of Columbia residents believe Mayor Muriel Bowser should move forward with taxation and regulation of marijuana despite Congressional prohibition, according to a survey conducted over the weekend by Public Policy Polling (PPP) for the Drug Policy Alliance, DC Vote, DC Working Families and the Washington City Paper.

Sixty-six percent of respondents believe the Mayor should pursue a legal method (such as use of reserve funds) to implement taxation and regulation of marijuana in the District. In light of Congressional interference attempting to prevent such regulation, 63 percent of residents view marijuana legalization as a statehood issue for the District.

A majority of respondents also recognized that limiting consumption of marijuana to the home is problematic for many residents (especially renters who could face eviction) and 61 percent would support the creation of regulated places where adults can legally consume marijuana.

D.C.: House Republican Vows To Block Marijuana Legalization In Nation's Capital

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

One House Republican said on Wednesday that he will do all he can to block implementation of the marijuana legalization measure approved by District of Columbia voters on Tuesday.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland) said marijuana's federal classification as a Schedule I drug should be enforced in the District, reports Aaron C. Davis at The Washington Post.

Harris, a doctor by training, blasted the legalization vote as detrimental to adolescents. "Actions by those in D.C. will result in higher drug use among teens," Harris told the Post. "I will consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action, so that drug use among teens does not increase."

The Congressman seems a little confused about how things work; currently, of course, black-market drug dealers don't ask teens for ID when selling marijuana; licensed cannabis retail outlets would.

Residents of and visitors to the nation's capital 21 and older will be allowed under Initiative 71 to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana, and to grow up to three cannabis plants at home.

D.C. Mayor-Elect Muriel E. Bowser said she would vote for the measure, and would see to its implementation. She agreed with the D.C. Council that the District must now take the next step of writing a measure establishing a system of retail sales and taxation.

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