DCMJ Statement on White House Firings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2021

CONTACT:
ADAM EIDINGER (202) 744-2671
Adam@DCMJ.org
KEN BAZINET (202) 660-2449
Ken@CollectiveConsulting.net

***Statement to the News Media***

White House Firings for past Cannabis Use are an Outrage

DCMJ Urges President Biden to Rethink Position on Cannabis Administration is Sending Wrong Message to Americans

Statement from Adam Eidinger, co-founder of District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ), in response to the White House firing staffers for past cannabis use:

“We were outraged to learn that the White House is using past cannabis use as a cause for dismissal of staffers. It would be an understatement to call reports of these dismissals arbitrary. We are quite certain that the White House does not fire staffers for use of alcohol, a scientifically proven deadly and harmful substance. We’re confident there is even alcohol stored away in the White House, and not just in the residence. The White House is clearly ignoring that voters in the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis, and that nearby Virginia and Maryland allow for medical use of cannabis. If the White House wants the best and brightest working there on behalf of the American people, it needs to tolerate all viewpoints and lifestyle choices, including the legal use of cannabis.

By taking these punitive actions, the White House is informally asking current and future applicants to lie. Lies are the enemy of democracy. If applicants know that being honest about past or current lawful cannabis use will prevent them from working at the White House, then they have no recourse but to lie about their current or past cannabis use. This is bad public policy and President Biden should understand that the destructive and failed War on Drugs does nothing but hurt the American people, especially people of color.

We expected that President Biden would evolve from this twisted 20th century view of cannabis use and adopt the positions that an overwhelming majority of Americans have embraced. From ending the use of cannabis laws in the abhorrent practice of racial profiling, to clearing the way for conclusive research into all the medical applications for cannabis, to keeping the government from intruding further into private lives, the majority of Americans want an end now to cannabis prohibition.

We want to see this administration succeed in righting many wrongs. We’ve even tried to be helpful. Our upcoming ‘Joints For Jabs’ cannabis giveaway is in direct response to the administration’s ‘Go Big’ effort to get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. We are quite confident the message behind ‘Joints for Jabs’ is reaching a significant portion of supporters and non-supporters of the president.

This White House needs to think about finding a new place for itself in the legalization movement and avoid an unnecessary confrontation with a key bloc in the Democrats’ political base. With these firings, the administration is sending out a dangerous message in this era of cannabis enlightenment that is going to force a meaningful reaction by those threatened by the actions of this White House.

We call upon President Biden to use his executive power to de-schedule cannabis immediately. There are millions of Americans living in states with legal cannabis that should not be excluded from working in the White House, or a job of any kind in public service. If you need advice on how to truly embrace ‘Marijuana Justice,’ we urge you to consult your vice president, who as a senator introduced the Marijuana Justice Act.”


ABOUT DC MARIJUANA JUSTICE

Since its founding in 2013, DCMJ has led the nation in creative and high-profile cannabis reform activism. After introducing and passing DC’s Initiative 71 in 2014, which voters legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis, DCMJ organized three large seed giveaways that provided all adults & Congressional staffers the means to grow cannabis for themselves, deployed giant 51’ inflatable joints outside the Capitol, the White House, the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Times Square in New York City, the 2016 Presidential Debates, Annapolis Statehouse and Boston’s Freedom Rally, as well as distributing over 10,000 joints of District of Columbia homegrown cannabis at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, and attempting to distribute 1,227 joints at the congressional “Joint Session” in 2017, where U.S. Capitol Police unlawfully arrested seven DCMJ activists (All charges were dropped the following day). DCMJ will distribute 5,000 joints at vaccination sites across the District of Columbia on April 20, 2021 in conjunction with its upcoming “Joints For Jabs” cannabis giveaway. In 2018, 2019, and 2021, aligned organizations MDMJ, VAMJ , COMJ, and NYMJ were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, and New York. DCMJ demands cannabis be removed from the Controlled Substances Act and all Americans are given the right to grow cannabis in the safety and privacy of their homes.

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Click here to download a PDF of this press release

INVITE: April 420 Zoom Sesh (4/14/2021)

Throughout 2021 DCMJ is hosting monthly online gatherings called the “420 Zoom Sesh.” Our next 420 Zoom Sesh is scheduled to commence at 4:19pm on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. We’d love for you to join us!

To join the April 420 Zoom Sesh, please click here to register. You can help spread the word by RSVPing on Facebook and inviting some of your friends. We will send out a reminder email with the Zoom link and passcode to everyone who registers about one hour before the 420 Zoom Sesh begins. Questions or suggested Agenda items? Please email 420ZoomSesh@DCMJ.org

Joints For Jabs

From free joints at dispensaries to free bags of weed outside vaccination centers, across the United States cannabis reform advocates are stepping up to organize their own cannabis giveaways to help end the coronavirus pandemic. DC Marijuana Justice believes that cannabis can help heal the nation and strongly believes that you can help do your part in ending the pandemic by getting vaccinated and assisting others in getting vaccinated. DCMJ’s Joints For Jabs will be taking place at vaccination sites across the District of Columbia on Tuesday, April 20.

Vaccination sites will be listed here, so please check back! Volunteers are still needed. If you want to help legally gift king-sized joints to adults across DC, please sign up to volunteer!



Read DCMJ’s Joints For Jabs Press Release (1/11/2021)


“Joints For Jabs” Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2021

CONTACT:
ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
Adam@DCMJ.org

‘Joints for Jabs’

DC Marijuana Justice to Reward Free Cannabis at Vaccination Sites Across the District of Columbia in Spring 2021

Wildly Popular Joint Giveaway At Inauguration Rescheduled to Summer

WASHINGTON, DC – Like many groups across the United States, DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”) discontinued its regular in-person meetings when the coronavirus pandemic began last year. Without a safe way for citizens to publicly gather to advocate for reforming the cannabis laws in the District of Columbia, DCMJ is excited for the vaccinations to be widely available. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s recent announcement of forthcoming coronavirus vaccines is welcome news to DCMJ. To celebrate this momentous occasion and thank people for getting vaccinated, dozens of DC homegrowers will lawfully distribute free bags of cannabis outside vaccination centers as soon as the general public is able to get vaccinated.

Dubbed “Joints for Jabs,” a play on the jab of a vaccine injection, this community effort aims to highlight the need for further local and national cannabis reform while also advocating for equitable distribution of the critical vaccine. DCMJ notes that to safely share a cannabis joint without potentially contributing to the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, each user must be vaccinated–an objective that necessitates accessibility for all District residents. The District of Columbia’s Department of Health has not yet named the public vaccination sites, but upon their identification DCMJ will issue a follow up to this release providing each ‘Joints for Jabs’ location, dates, and hours of operation.

“We are looking for ways to safely celebrate the end of the pandemic and we know nothing brings people together like cannabis,” says DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller. “DCMJ believes that cannabis should be consumed safely and responsibly, and the pandemic has made this incredibly difficult for many adults to share their homegrown cannabis. When enough adults are inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine, it will be time to celebrate – not just the end of the pandemic, but the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition in the United States.”

During the pandemic cannabis dispensaries have been considered essential businesses. However, due to a patchwork of state laws and a lack of federal action, millions of Americans still source cannabis from the underground economy, which has varying degrees of quality and safety. As homegrowers, DCMJ members gifting cannabis will only share cannabis grown free of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.

INAUGURATION JOINT GIVEAWAY POSTPONED UNTIL AT LEAST SUMMER

DCMJ does not anticipate that enough citizens will be inoculated with a coronavirus vaccine by the time President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20, 2021 to safely hold a joint giveaway. More importantly, assuming the pandemic has subsided President-Elect Biden has indicated there will be a summer Inauguration event on the National Mall as is traditionally done in January.

On January 20, 2017, at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, DCMJ organized a massive cannabis distribution demonstration called “#Trump420.”  The wildly popular protest to end marijuana prohibition highlighted the fact that cannabis reform is not a partisan issue, but an American issue that needed to be addressed by the incoming president.  Thanks to local, national, and international media attention, by 10:00 AM a line of cannabis reform advocates stretched over 6 blocks long, and by the end of the day over 10,000 cannabis joints were given away to adults of all political persuasions.  Unfortunately, nearly four years later, cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

In 2020, the House of Representatives passed historic legislation called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (“MORE Act”). This legislation would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and enact various criminal and social justice reforms related to cannabis, including the expungement of prior convictions. However, the Senate did not take up this important legislation in the remaining days of the 116th Congress.  DCMJ expects that the MORE Act will be introduced and passed in the 117th Congress and hope Democratic leaders take action quickly.

“While no legislation is perfect, the MORE Act addresses many demands that DC Marijuana Justice has been making for years,” says Adam Eidinger, proposer of DC’s Initiative 71 and co-founder of DCMJ.  “We asked Presidents Obama and Trump, and now we are asking President-Elect Biden to take executive action on cannabis reform within the first 100 days.”

ABOUT DC MARIJUANA JUSTICE

Since its founding in 2013, DCMJ has led the nation in creative and high-profile cannabis reform activism. After introducing and passing DC’s Initiative 71 in 2014, which voters legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis, DCMJ organized three large seed giveaways that provided all adults & Congressional staffers the means to grow cannabis for themselves, deployed giant 51′ inflatable joints outside the White House, the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Times Square in New York City, the 2016 Presidential Debates, and Boston’s Freedom Rally, as well as distributing over 10,000 joints of District of Columbia homegrown cannabis at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, and most recently, attempting to distribute 1,227 joints at the congressional “Joint Session” in 2017, where U.S. Capitol Police unlawfully arrested seven DCMJ activists (All charges were dropped the following day).  In 2018 and 2019, aligned organizations MDMJ, VAMJ , and COMJ, were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland, Virginia, and Colorado. DCMJ demands cannabis be removed from the Controlled Substances Act and all Americans are given the right to grow cannabis in the safety and privacy of their homes.

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Click here to download a PDF of this press release

DCMJ Monthly Meetings Paused

With the coronavirus pandemic preventing in-person gatherings, DC Marijuana Justice has chosen to pause our monthly meetings and scale back our regular activities for the foreseeable future.  We remain committed to reforming the cannabis laws in the District of Columbia and across the United States. Please sign up for our email list so you will be kept abreast of any important developments.

Congress, Pass The Joint! Rally at the U.S. Capitol

CONGRESS, PASS THE JOINT!

CONGRESS, PASS THE JOINT!

We recently got news that the Senate’s budget for the District of Columbia still contains the tyrannical Harris Rider. This means that DC’s federal budget will go to conference committee in order to hammer out the differences between the House version (which has the Harris Rider removed) and the Senate version of the federal budget. We also have word that House leadership will not seek the removal this rider in conference committee. This means DC is being thrown under the bus again and will likely allow the Harris Rider to remain in the budget for the next year. This also means that both Councilmember Grosso’s legalization bill and the Mayor’s legalization bill will not be able to move forward for at least another year!

WE DON’T HAVE TO SIT QUIETLY AND LET CONGRESS PUT OFF MARIJUANA LEGISLATION!

Join us on the East Lawn of the U.S. Capitol at 11:30am on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 to demand Congress pass meaningful cannabis reform legislation! We are calling the demonstration,”Congress, Pass the Joint! Rally at the U.S. Capitol.” Please join us during your lunch break!

But it’s not only DC residents getting thrown under the bus. It’s EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES. More than half the states in the United States have passed laws allowing some form of medical cannabis, but Congress has refused to legislate. The entire West Coast of the U.S. has legalized cannabis, but adults can’t legally take their cannabis across state lines.  Worse, right now there is an epidemic of toxic THC cartridges plaguing the United States, but instead of passing meaningful legislation to regulate cannabis and cannabis products, Congress has done what they are really good at: nothing. Remember how during alcohol prohibition there used to be stories of people going blind and/or dying because of knock-off alcohol? Sounds like history is repeating itself thanks to congressional inaction. This week the House passed the banking bill, which lays the foundation for legal cannabis businesses, but the Republican-controlled Senate has yet to take it up. Congress will continue to do nothing unless we demand action! What are they waiting for? CONGRESS, PASS THE JOINT!

We have Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) confirmed to speak and we will reach out to other members of Congress, the Mayor, and cannabis-friendly DC Councilmembers. Out of respect to the Congresswoman, this will be a NO SMOKING / NO CONSUMPTION demonstration. We do not anticipate any arrests and have applied for permits from the U.S. Capitol Police (a first for DCMJ!).

TITLE: CONGRESS, PASS THE JOINT!
TIME: 11:30am to 1pm EST
DATE: Tuesday, October 8, 2019
LOCATION: East Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, near the intersection of Independence Ave. SE and 1st Street SE.
NEAREST METRO: Capitol South (Orange / Blue / Silver Lines)
PARKING: On-street is very limited around the Capitol. Cab or Ride Share is best.


***MEDIA ADVISORY – ATTN Video & Photo Desks – Cannabis advocates to hold demonstration on East Lawn of U.S. Capitol at 11:30am, Tuesday, October 8, 2019***

Cannabis Groups Pressure Senate to Stop Stonewalling

51 Foot Long Joint Makes First Appearance on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress Invited to Speak.

WASHINGTON, DC – Leading cannabis advocacy and educational organization DCMJ (District of Columbia Marijuana Justice) and its sister organizations will announce Tuesday it will target the Senate in a new front in its effort to get Congress to end its obstructionist policies toward passing legalization legislation.

To hammer home its message, DCMJ will break out its giant 51-foot inflatable joint at the lunchtime rally outside the U.S. Capitol, dubbed “Congress, Pass the Joint.” The rally marks the first time DCMJ will be joined by affiliates COMJ, MDMJ and VAMJ (Colorado, Maryland and Virginia, respectively) in a multi-state effort to pressure the Senate to:

• Remove the midnight rider from the FY2020 Financial Services Act and General Government Appropriations Act (S. 2524) that prevents cannabis commerce and taxation in the District of Columbia. Originally introduced by Rep. Andy Harris Rider (R-MD) in late 2014, the social policy rider was removed from the FY2020 House appropriations legislation, but added in the Senate’s appropriations legislation.

• Pass the SAFE Banking Act (S.1200) that would open up the federally regulated banking system to the cannabis community

• And ultimately pass the Marijuana Justice Act (S. 597 / HR 1456) that will fully legalize cannabis in the United States

“All the evidence points to the Senate majority leadership blocking cannabis legalization laws at this point,” said Adam Eidinger, of DCMJ and Brother Davids, an environmentally conscious non-profit cannabis company. “To demonstrate we are serious about ending the gridlock, we will target vulnerable Republican senators in the 2020 elections from states that have passed legalization laws.”

DCMJ and its sister group MDMJ are not new to politically targeting anti-cannabis lawmakers. In 2018, the community cannabis groups put “boots on the ground” to campaign against Rep. Andy Harris Rider (R-MD). Political professionals who credit MDMJ with indirectly helping to defeat former House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) last year have lauded the anti-Harris campaign. Tens of thousands of dollars in prohibitionist money that went to Harris and Harris-supported third party organizations was diverted from Sessions, money he badly needed in that closely contested race.

“It was fear that led to the poor decision by some Republicans to fund Harris over Sessions. It was MDMJ’s activity on the ground that put the fear into the GOP,” says Kris Furnish, cofounder of MDMJ, “We intend to replicate that effort in states like Colorado and Maine between now and November 2020.”

AJ Dawson, founder of Colorado Marijuana Justice, noted that it’s time to go after lawmakers who claim to be pro-legalization but have done little more that lip service to curb the prohibitionist policies imposed by obstructionist Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

“We can no longer accept the behavior of the enablers who allow McConnell to block legalization bills from even coming up for a vote by the full Senate,” Dawson said. “That is the message we will send to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO): Get your party in order. It’s time for action not just words.”

Eidinger called McConnell’s legalization stonewalling in the Senate “completely out of touch with the majority of the mainstream in the U.S,” and emphasized there is a new economy that is languishing because of the Senate’s inaction.

“Sen. McConnell needs to realize he is holding up job-creation bills by blocking cannabis legislation,” Eidinger said. “This is an industry that would flourish in his beloved Kentucky, but he’s stuck in some time bubble that doesn’t allow him to have a clear vision forward.”

Confirmed speakers will include Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), along with the leaders of the legalization groups.

DCMJ was founded in 2013 to advocate for cannabis users, growers, and their families. To learn more about DCMJ visit www.dcmj.org or view the demonstration’s Facebook Event Page.

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Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act – Community Feedback

Hands off Homegrow!

On January 8, 2019, Councilmember David Grosso, along with Councilmembers Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, and Anita Bonds, introduced the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2019.

Different sections of the law were referred to the committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, Committee on Business and Economic Development, Committee on Finance and Revenue, and Committee of the Whole with comments from the Committee on Transportation and the Environment. No hearings have been scheduled yet.

With the Mayor’s Safe Cannabis Act of 2019, there are now two different cannabis legalization bills before the DC Council. We believe that the best law will be a hybrid of both laws and ample witness testimony provided by DC’s cannabis community.

In order to obtain the DC cannabis community’s concerns about this legislation, we have created a thorough community feedback form here on our website. The entire legislation broken into chapters where you can provide feedback for each section. At an upcoming DCMJ Planning Meeting, before the public hearing, we will go over the community feedback and draft our testimony based on the feedback you provide.

DC CANNABIS COMMUNITY FEEDBACK INSTRUCTIONS:

  • We suggest reading the entire legislation first before making any comments. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the law! By reading the legislation in it’s entirety you can get a better picture of the legislation.
  • Find parts of the legislation you like, dislike, would like to have changed or added to
  • Find the corresponding Chapter and Section on this page (Like Chapter 25, Section 03 = 2503) and select the proper dropdown box. Some Sections have Subsections (a, b, c, d, etc.), while others don’t. To ensure your feedback is the most direct, include the Subsection when available
  • Enter your feedback into the Google Form. Be as descriptive as possible. Explain why you think the section is good, bad, needs to be removed, or changed
  • Attend an upcoming DCMJ Planning Meeting to discuss your feedback and hear other’s feedback. By including your email address, we will add you to the DCMJ email list so you’ll know when we are discussing the legislation next

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this
act may be cited as the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2019”.

Continue reading

Safe Cannabis Act – Community Feedback

Give DC residents a Fair Shot in the cannabis industry
Click to view full size

On May 2, 2019, Mayor Bowser announced her long-awaited tax & regulate legislation. In February 2019, DCMJ met with members of the Mayor’s office to discuss our suggested changes to DC’s cannabis law, and while some of our suggested changes were incorporated into the Safe Cannabis Act, many were not.

This draft legislation was transmitted to the DC Council and introduced on May 6 as B23-0280 – Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2019. Different sections of the law were referred to the Committee on Business and Economic Development, Committee on Finance and Revenue, Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, and Committee of the Whole. No hearings have been scheduled yet.

Numerous members of the DC cannabis community have brought to our attention that some changes in the legislation may negatively impact the rights we earned through the passage of Initiative 71, so we have developed this page on our website as a means to solicit feedback from all community stakeholders.

The Mayor’s draft legislation is a starting point, not the end point. There will be a least one hearing where the general public (YOU!) will be able to testify on positives, negatives, and suggested changes to the legislation. After the hearing, the legislation will be amended based on community input before it is finally voted on in the various committees. It will also be voted on by the entire DC Council, where even more amendments can be made before the legislation becomes law. The final DC Council vote will not happen before October 1, 2019, so we have all summer to work on making this legislation better.

In order to obtain the DC cannabis community’s concerns about this legislation, we have created a thorough community feedback form here on our website. The entire legislation broken into chapters where you can provide feedback for each section. At an upcoming DCMJ Planning Meeting, before the public hearing, we will go over the community feedback and draft our testimony based on the feedback you provide.

DC CANNABIS COMMUNITY FEEDBACK INSTRUCTIONS:

  • We suggest reading the entire legislation first before making any comments. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the law! By reading the legislation in it’s entirety you can get a better picture of the legislation.
  • Find parts of the legislation you like, dislike, would like to have changed or added to
  • Find the corresponding Chapter and Section on this page (Like Chapter 25, Section 03 = 2503) and select the proper dropdown box. Some Sections have Subsections (a, b, c, d, etc.), while others don’t. To ensure your feedback is the most direct, include the Subsection when available
  • Enter your feedback into the Google Form. Be as descriptive as possible. Explain why you think the section is good, bad, needs to be removed, or changed
  • Attend an upcoming DCMJ Planning Meeting to discuss your feedback and hear other’s feedback. By including your email address, we will add you to the DCMJ email list so you’ll know when we are discussing the legislation next

Together we’ll end up with the best cannabis legislation in the country. Now is not the time to protest the draft legislation, rather it’s time to work together to craft what we want. If the final legislation totally sucks, we can always do another ballot initiative!

NOTE: The Community Feedback starts on Page 5 of the draft legislation. The first 4 pages are not regarded as important to the nature of the proposed legislation but are included below:



Sec. 2. Title 25 of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended as follows:
Continue reading

FEEDBACK REQUESTED! DCMJ’s Suggestions for Cannabis Reform Legislation

DCMJ will soon be meeting with members of the DC government to discuss the proposed changes to DC’s cannabis legislation. Below are some of our suggestions and we’d love to hear from you as to what we should add or change. Please read the suggestions below and fill out the Google Form to provide us with needed feedback!


VERSION 2.0 IS BELOW! THANK YOU FOR THE FEEDBACK! We have updated the document:


Current and former cannabis users and growers in the DC have asked us to share some suggestions for model legislation that should be included in future cannabis reform legislation.

MICRO SALES OF HOMEGROW PERMITTED
Expert home growers in the District of Columbia may have yields higher than they need for personal use, while some horticulturalists often grow cannabis they will never consume. DCMJ wants expert growers to be able to sell their excess cannabis at farmer’s markets in the District of Columbia. By providing an outlet for locally grown cannabis, the DC government can ensure more dollars are circulated locally and collect sales tax.Moreover, many growers do not have the capital to invest in a large-scale growing facility, but can provide the marketplace with unique varieties of cannabis. Some strains of cannabis are not profitable for large-scale cultivation, but small home growers can fill the niche if they are given the opportunity to sell their extra cannabis. There is a fine line between legal sales and illegal sales and we believe it primarily involves volume of sales. No one cares if a gardener in DC sells their extra tomatoes to their next-door neighbor, and we believe the same case should be made for cannabis. However, if an adult wants to sell in an established marketplace, we believe they should obtain a “micro-cultivators license” to ensure they follow the rules. With this license, the grower would be permitted to transport more cannabis than regular citizens would be permitted to possess outside of their homes.

AUTOMATIC EXPUNGEMENT OF MARIJUANA RECORDS
There are many marijuana arrest & conviction records still on the books. These need to be deleted. Citizens should not be required to initiate the expungement, rather we are asking for legislation that compels the Attorney General’s office to begin the process of deleting all records related to marijuana arrests and convictions. This is being done in jurisdictions around the country and the District of Columbia should follow suit. Often people were arrested for other items, but cannabis was used as the pretext for the arrest. We believe these records should be expunged as well, with the exception of the possession of weapons or in the case of violent crime. More importantly, we believe the expungement should not have a time limit on how far back the arrest and/or conviction happened.

NO CAP ON LICENSES
The creation of government cartels, where only a few licenses are given out, only hurts the consumer. In every jurisdiction were licenses are scarce, prices for cannabis are dictated by the licensee, not the market and consumers end up paying more than they should. With thousands of alcohol licenses in DC, we’ve seen that the open market does a better job in ensure proper compliance and competition. We believe the same should happen within the District’s cannabis marketplace. The best way to ensure fair prices, quality product, proper taxation & regulation is to not place an arbitrary limit on the number of licenses at the beginning of the process, rather if the licensing becomes a burden on the government, then a cap should be temporarily placed on new licenses. By limiting the number of licenses from the start, we believe the DC government will be doing a disservice to entrepreneurs and consumers.

INCREASE PLANT COUNT THROUGH SQUARE FOOTAGE ALLOWANCE
Ballot Initiative 71 allows adults to grow 6 plants if they live alone and up to 12 plants if they live with another adult. One unique aspect of this law is that it doesn’t require the plants to be grown together, placed in a locked room, or other supposed safeguards other jurisdictions have arbitrarily placed on growing cannabis at home. We are not aware of any instances where cannabis plants have been stolen due to a lack of supposed safeguards. However, we have heard many requests from growers would that like to be able to use more space at their homes to grow more cannabis, but the current plant count limitation prevents this. In some jurisdictions the plant count is superceded by the amount of space a grower can legally use. For example, home growers with an extra bedroom could grow more than 12 plants in a 15’x15’ space but under the current law, they are capped at a maximum of 12 plants. We believe a home grower could register their grow space with DCRA, pay a “home grow license” fee, and be able to increase their plant count as long as the plants remain within the licenses space in their home. Akin to a home office, there is a license process that could be replicated to allow for home growers to increase their plant count without too much effort or strain on District government resources. With that said, DCMJ is against any changes to the rights created by voter-approved ballot initiativ. Meaning, if someone wants to grow 6 plants at home and not register with DCRA, they should be allowed to grow privately at home, but if they want to grow more than what Ballot Initiative 71 permits, they should register with DCRA.

EDIBLES & CONCENTRATES
Ballot Initiative 71 does not address cannabis-infused food items nor cannabis concentrates. Currently these are treated as “hash” under the District’s definition of cannabis. We believe the definition should be amended to be more comprehensive and include dry flower, edibles, concentrates, plants, and cuttings. We do not believe there should be any type of increase penalties for cannabis related offenses. Rather, we believe civil fines & community service are a better deterrent than jail time. With that said, many adults do not want to consume cannabis flower by the inhalation of smoke or vapor and would prefer to consume it through foods or drinks. While others prefer to consume cannabis in concentrated forms known as “wax” or “shatter” or “hash.” We believe that adults should be able to consume cannabis whichever way they prefer and there shouldn’t be arbitrary restrictions on the methods of consumption.

RE-DEFINE PLANT COUNT
The branches on a large female cannabis plant can be trimmed to create cuttings (otherwise known as “clones”). These cuttings can be placed in a glass of water and will eventually develop roots under proper lighting, whereupon the cutting can then be transferred to a growing medium, like soil, to grow into a full-sized plant. This is a popular way for growers to share their genetics with other growers. Ballot Initiative 71 does not adequately differentiate between a plant and a cutting. We believe home growers would benefit by a better definition of a plant being at least 12 inches in size. As in only cuttings that are 1 foot or taller would be considered a plant and anything below that size would be considered a cutting and not included in the total plant count. Moreover, a under Ballot Initiative 71 an adult can give up to an ounce of cannabis to another adult and the current interpretation of the law by many growers is that a cutting that weighs less than 1 ounce can be given to another adult in compliance with the law. If the definition of the plant is revised, we believe that adults should be able to give another adult at least 12 cuttings at a time. Since Ballot Initiative 71 does not differentiate between dry cannabis (flower aka “bud”) from non-smokable cannabis (a cutting), it would be in the best interest of growers to modify the law to clarify the gift of up to one ounce of cannabis to another adult concerns only dry cannabis and add that the another adult can give up 12 cuttings at a time.

RE-DEFINE WEIGHT COUNT TO INCLUDE EQUVALENTS
In 2016 the state of Colorado changed how possession limits of cannabis and cannabis equivalents are defined. Since Ballot Initiative 71 did not address the possession of edibles or concentrates, we believe the District of Columbia should follow Colorado’s lead in re-define weights and equivalents. Currently in Colorado, one ounce of cannabis flower is equivalent to 8 grams of cannabis concentrate and 800 milligrams of edibles.

SALE OF LIVE PLANTS
We believe that cannabis consumers would benefit from the ability to purchase live plants at any location dry cannabis is currently sold, including farmer’s markets. Transportation of a live plant would be exempted from the official weight count and the receipt the purchasers has in their possession after making the purchase would provide the adult a limited time to transport the live plant from the site of purchase to their home. We believe a 24 hour window is adequate for an adult to take the newly purchased plant home.

OUTDOOR CULTIVATION
As more adults grow cannabis at their homes, a strain is placed on the District’s electrical grid. One of the easiest ways a grower can save money while helping the environment is to grow their cannabis using natural sunlight. We believe that the cannabis plant belongs outdoors and the more regulations and restrictions that are placed on the plant, the more people believe that the plant should be coveted. No one cares about tobacco or hops plants people grow outdoors in DC, and the same should be said for the cannabis plant. If someone wants to grow their plants in the back yard, so be it, but the current law forbids this. We request that minor changes are made to the law so that it’s silent on whether the plant can be grown indoors or outdoors.

TAXES
It has been shown in other jurisdictions that when the government places high taxes on cannabis, the cannabis is diverted to the illicit market. The best way to ensure this does not happen in the District of Columbia is to keep the taxes low throughout the entire supply chain. We believe that a 10% sales tax for consumers should be maintained because it falls in line with the current sales tax for alcohol. However, sales tax collected between the grower, processor, and seller should be minimal because this is where the cannabis is most likely to be diverted. A minimal 1% sales tax on bulk sales to processors and dispensaries would ensure cannabis makes its way to the consumer without the cannabis becoming too expensive. By collecting license fees from the cultivators, processors, and dispensaries plus a small tax on transactions prior to the consumer’s final purchase, the DC government will ensure more cannabis is sold within licensed businesses. Moreover, we believe the tax on medical cannabis should be eliminated entirely. There is no other medicine in the District of Columbia that the government taxes. The $100 patient registration fee is direct tax on medical cannabis patients. They should not be forced to pay more for their medicine than other adults. In order to implement this, a dispensary would simply have to enter the patient’s ID number at the point of sale.

BANKING
With cannabis still a Schedule I substance in the eyes of the federal government, there is a reluctance for commercial banks to develop relationships with cannabis businesses. In order to provide financial safety and security to the District’s licensed cannabis businesses, we believe there should be a public banking option available. Businesses that deal only in cash are a bigger target for nefarious elements of our society and by providing a public banking option, the District government can ensure the timely collection of taxes.

FINES & COMMUNITY SERVICE – NOT JAIL TIME
We do not believe there should be there should be any jail time related to infractions concerning cannabis. The District of Columbia used to arrest nearly 1% of the population each year for cannabis and the net result was many destroyed lives. Jail time is not the best way to address infractions to cannabis laws, rather we believe fines and community service are a better deterrent than jail time. Jail time costs society and the District government more in resources than fines and community service.

COMMUNITY INPUT
As old laws change, the non-cannabis consuming or growing community is not always kept abreast of the changes. DCMJ would like to assist in having town hall meetings in all 8 Wards of the District of Columbia so that citizens throughout Washington will be able to contribute their input to the legislation.


INVITE: March 420 Zoom Sesh (3/10/2021)

Throughout 2021 DCMJ is hosting monthly online gatherings called the “420 Zoom Sesh.” Our next 420 Zoom Sesh is scheduled to commence at 4:19pm on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. We’d love for you to join us!

To join the March 420 Zoom Sesh, please click here to register. You can help spread the word by RSVPing on Facebook and inviting some of your friends. We will send out a reminder email with the Zoom link and passcode to everyone who registers about one hour before the 420 Zoom Sesh begins. Questions or suggested Agenda items? Please email 420ZoomSesh@DCMJ.org

INVITE: February 420 Zoom Sesh (2/10/2021)

Throughout 2021 DCMJ is hosting monthly online gatherings called the “420 Zoom Sesh.” Our next 420 Zoom Sesh is scheduled to commence at 4:19pm on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. We’d love for you to join us!

To join the February 420 Zoom Sesh, please click here to register. You can help spread the word by RSVPing on Facebook and inviting some of your friends. We will send out a reminder email with the Zoom link and passcode to everyone who registers about one hour before the 420 Zoom Sesh begins. Questions or suggested Agenda items? Please email 420ZoomSesh@DCMJ.org