Press Release: Don’t Be A Turkey, Pardon Cannabis Prisoners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:
Nikolas Schiller, 202-643-3878
Kris Furnish, 720-607-8369
Press@DCMJ.org

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Don’t Be A Turkey, Pardon Cannabis Prisoners

“Marijuana” Reform Groups Call on President Biden to Pardon Over 2,800 Federal Cannabis Prisoners, Not Turkeys.

PRESIDENT BIDEN, Pardon Cannabis Prisoners, not Turkeyes!WASHINGTON, DC – Pardoning turkeys before Thanksgiving has been an annual tradition at the White House since the Kennedy administration. This year DC Marijuana Justice (DCMJ), Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ), Virginia Marijuana Justice (VAMJ), and New York Marijuana Justice (NYMJ) call on President Biden to show some grace for the 2,800 people serving time in federal prison for cannabis “crimes” and pardon cannabis inmates instead of pardoning turkeys.

“There are people serving life sentences for cannabis, and we want the President to honor his commitment to release everyone in prison for cannabis now,” says Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ and proposer of Initiative 71, which legalized cannabis in the District of Columbia in 2014. “These prisoners should be freed and allowed to come home for the holidays.”

Very few Americans are federally charged with “simple possession of cannabis” and none were serving time when the executive order was announced. “Just like the annual turkey pardon is ceremonial, so was President Biden’s recent marijuana pardon announcement in October,” said Kris Furnish, co-founder of MDMJ.  

“The turkeys that President Biden will pardon have names. So do the thousands of cannabis prisoners stuck in both federal and state jails.” says Nikolas Schiller, co-founder of DCMJ and founder of NYMJ. “We call on the President to go one step further and pardon Americans for all cannabis offenses such as distribution and cultivation. It’s these prisoners who need President Biden’s pardon the most,” concludes Schiller.

Cannabis reform advocates, including members from the Marijuana Justice Groups, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Last Prisoner Project, gathered outside the White House last month to call on President Biden to do more but the administration has done nothing further. Advocates believe that President Biden’s performative inaction is condemnable because the majority of Americans agree that cannabis should be federally legal, and people are serving unjustly long sentences for nonviolent cannabis “offenses”. 

“Pardoning turkeys instead of humans is offensive,” says RachelRamone Donlan, co-founder of VAMJ, who helped pass legalized cannabis in the Commonwealth. “There are thousands of human beings locked inside of cages, some serving life sentences for what is now legal, and it’s time for them to come home.”  

The power of pardoning has been used since George Washington, and was originally intended to right a wrong. It’s not a joke to those that desperately hope President Biden will keep his promises. 

“Although the American ceremony of pardoning turkeys is typically seen as a warm, lighthearted and well-loved, seasonal tradition, please remember families are missing their loved ones at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day because they are incarcerated, as our president mocks a power that could ultimately unite these families,” said Eidinger. “There is nothing that we want more than to see President Biden keep his promises so that families can reunite and be together on Thanksgiving Day and everyday.”

Last year, at the annual turkey pardon, President Biden made the following remark concerning COVID, however, it rings true for bringing cannabis prisoners home.

“In all seriousness, it’s important to continue traditions like this to remind us how from the darkness, there’s light and hope and progress and – that’s what this year’s Thanksgiving, in my view, represents. So many of us will be gathering with our loved ones for the first time in a long time. And we’ll be reconnecting with traditions, with our tables and our hearts full of grace and gratitude for everyone who made it possible.” 

Unlike COVID, which we have very little power over, President Biden has full power to bring cannabis prisoners home.

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Click here to download a PDF of this press release

Yesterday, Marijuana Moment wrote about how the White House touted Biden’s Marijuana Pardons Among ‘Top Accomplishments’ For Administration. That’s some tofurky malarky!

We decided to take the graphic that the White House published and do a little Photoshop to remind him there is still more work to be done! Notice that unchecked box above?

DCMJ’s Statement on President Biden’s Pardon Pledge

STATEMENT FROM DCMJ

ON

PRESIDENT BIDEN’S

CANNABIS PARDON PLEDGE

Today’s announcement by President Biden is a seminal moment for cannabis reform in the United States. We applaud the White House for taking steps to undo the harms of the drug war for some people convicted of simple possession of cannabis.

However, we also call upon the President to do more. Very few Americans are federally charged with simple possession of cannabis and even fewer remain behind bars. In fact, there is no one currently in federal jail for simple cannabis possession. We call on the President to go one step further and pardon Americans convicted of other nonviolent cannabis offenses such as distribution and cultivation. It’s these prisoners who need President Biden’s pardon the most.

With respect to working with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice on rescheduling cannabis out of Schedule I, we call on the President to work with Congress to completely remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Moving cannabis to Schedule II, where it would join cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine, will still perpetuate the failed war on drugs and continue to allow adults to be arrested for possession, consumption, distribution, and cultivation. Simply put, we want cannabis to be entirely descheduled. As a natural plant, we believe cannabis should have never been placed in the CSA.

Members of DC Marijuana Justice were instrumental in the drafting and passage of Ballot Initiative 71 in the fall of 2014 in Washington, DC. This ballot initiative was the first piece of legislation that legalized the possession, distribution, and cultivation of cannabis on the East Coast of the United States. Shortly before becoming law, Republicans in Congress passed a budgetary rider that prohibited the government of the District of Columbia from passing any new legislation that reduced penalties for any Schedule I substance.

Should the White House move forward with the removal of cannabis from Schedule I, the District of Columbia will be allowed to enact much needed local cannabis reforms. DCMJ looks forward to working with the Council of the District of Columbia in helping draft more robust legislation that will empower more Americans that were impacted by the failed war on drugs to become entrepreneurs in the budding cannabis industry.

Earlier this week DCMJ, along with our sister chapters in Maryland, Virginia, and New York, had called upon President Biden to release 100 cannabis prisoners this month or we would join Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Last Prisoner Project in a series of demonstrations on October 24. This demonstration has not been canceled due to today’s announcement.

We are unaware of 100 cannabis prisoners being released at this time. Moreover, the demonstrations will continue to highlight the need for the White House to fully deschedule cannabis and the Democratic Party to take cannabis reform seriously. Like we seriously want Congress to pass full legalization and we seriously want to see the names of all cannabis prisoners who are being released.

From free joints at Trump’s inauguration, to Joints for Jabs outside Covid vaccine centers, to free cannabis seeds, DCMJ has been at the forefront of politically motivated cannabis distribution. In all the pounds of cannabis we have given away over the last 7 years, we didn’t get arrested for distribution because we used the plant as a form of free speech. Today there are many cannabis growers and entrepreneurs who remain locked up because they were not charged with simple cannabis possession, but with cultivation and distribution. They used the plant to help feed their families and to help terminally-ill friends, and are considered heroes to many cannabis activists. They deserve pardons too.


In less than two weeks, on Wednesday, October 19, are are linking up with our sister groups for a special Zoom Sesh. Today’s announcement will be one of our topics of discussion .Please put it on your calendar and join us!

WHO: Supporters of Releasing Cannabis Prisoners
WHAT: DCMJ / MDMJ / VAMJ / NYMJ Zoom SeshCivil Disobedience Edition
WHEN: 7pm EST, October 19, 2022
WHERE: Zoom (Click here to Register!)
WHY: President Biden needs to uphold his campaign promise and immediately release at least 100 cannabis prisoners

SOCIAL: RSVP on Facebook

 

Biden Keep Your Promise!

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Keep Your Promises! Join us for a day of action on October 24

Biden Keep Your Promise!

Next month we are linking up with the Last Prisoner Project and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) to conduct a series of actions aimed at pressuring President Biden to release the nation’s federal cannabis prisoners. We are seeking cannabis activists who are ready, willing, and able to escalate pressure on the president until all our cannabis prisoners are home.

The demand is simple: “Follow through on your campaign promise to release all cannabis prisoners or we will remind the nation of your creation of the problem through disrupting politics as usual across the country.”

Unless President Biden takes action next month, we plan to engage in non-violent civil disobedience in multiple waves on Monday, October 24 outside the White House and the Democratic Party National Headquarters. We hope you will join us! 

For more information check out the SSDP’s “Keep Your Promise” webpage.  For more information on the nuts and bolts of clemency work please visit the Last Prisoner Projects “Time to heal” page and join their letter writing campaign.

DESCHEDULE CANNABIS NOW

Press Release: Initiative 71 Authors Urge DC Council to Include Cottage Industry Licenses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2021

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

Initiative 71 Authors Urge DC Council to Include Cottage Industry Licenses

WASHINGTON —  Opening up D.C. farmers markets to adult-use cannabis sales and licensing sales by D.C. craft cultivators and cottage industry entrepreneurs are the focus of a carefully vetted amendment that will be presented by District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) at a public hearing Friday of the D.C. Council.

“Combining criminal justice reforms and economic innovation, the amendment would guarantee D.C. implements a profitable, equitable, affordable and transparent system of adult-use cannabis sales, testing and cultivation,” says to Nikolas Schiller, author of the Cottage Industry Amendment and co-author of Initiative 71.

The amendment establishes a “Cottage Industry License”  for adult residents, and “Farmers Market Endorsement” license that would allow sales by local craft cultivators and entrepreneurs, molding social equity and decriminalization into a new, necessary and innovative revenue stream. The amendment includes enforceable rules and regulations for anyone who is issued either license.

The amendment states, “A cottage industry license shall authorize the licensee to grow and produce medicinal and/or recreational marijuana within their residence for sale and delivery at wholesale directly to manufacturers, testing facilities, retailers, and farmers markets.”

Adding, “A Farmers Market Endorsement is a license issued to Cottage Industry Licensees or Microbusiness Licensees that authorizes the licensee to sell the cannabis at Farmers Markets in the District of Columbia.”

The complete amendment can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jnGDpKkKdGYGqPi7Q0Q-Vr-LIZ2ESSC-MMfgVo7Gyqs/edit?usp=sharing

“The intent and spirit of Initiative-71, which D.C. voters approved seven years ago, was from the start to decriminalize the plant in D.C., end to the persecution of local cannabis users, and establish a system of equitable, safe, affordable and all-inclusive cannabis commerce, from micro-sales to dispensaries,” said Adam Eidinger, the proposer of Initiative 71 and co-founder of cannabis advocacy and educational group DCMJ.

“We have an obligation to implement a system that does not shut out any cannabis entrepreneur, who wants to make an income, will abide by the regulations, and pay sales and taxes on profits. In state after state, legislatures have left out many American entrepreneurs by allowing an exclusive ‘Big Pot’ oligopoly to dominate the local adult-use marketplace.” Eidinger adds,  “We can break the cannabis oligopoly here in DC if we just legalize with the little guy in mind.”

“The D.C. Council has a chance to do what no state that has succeeded in doing so far, creating a pathway to moving the cannabis underground and ‘grey market’ to the economic mainstream,” DC Cannabis Business Association founder Lisa Scott. 

The amendment was crafted after countless hours of deliberation and discussion, including open meetings and a three-part reading of the entire bill hosted by DCMJ. A range of citizens, including moms, dads, veterans, activists, business people and lawyers, all contributed ideas and commentary.

“This amendment represents the will of the D.C. cannabis community. It’s thoughtful with respect to the local diversity, comprehensive, and carefully worded,” said Nikolas Schiller. “The message was clear that many D.C. residents want to be a part of the coming commercial cannabis marketplace, but they fear they will be unfairly excluded from ownership and partnership in a cannabis enterprise. The D.C. Council can break the cycle and become the model of success.”

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Click here to download a PDF of this press release

Apes Erect 2,001 Pound Steel Monolith at DEA’s Headquarters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2021

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

Apes Erect 2,001 Pound Steel Monolith at DEA’s Headquarters

Unconventional Protest Decries Government Agency That Has Prevented Research Into the Therapeutic Uses of Many Natural Plants & Substances While Continuing Heavy Handed Swat Raids on Americans Citizens

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – Today the community group District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”) learned that a group calling itself “Anonymous Apes” are celebrating in protest the arrival of a mysterious metal monolith standing nine feet and weighing over 2,000 pounds outside of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (“DEA”) headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The criminal justice and drug policy reform activists who wheeled the full size 2001: Space Odyssey monolith replica dressed as apes to prevent police retaliation and because it looks even cooler. The Anonymous Apes provided DCMJ the following statement about why they visited the DEA:

THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS FAILED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR TOO LONG. THIS MONOLITH OF GOVERNMENT OPPRESSION HAS IMPRISONED 10’S OF MILLIONS OF AMERICAN CITIZENS FOR SEEKING HEALING RELIEF WITH NATURAL SUBSTANCES. THE DEA, MUCH LIKE A FLOPPY DISC OR VHS TAPE, MUST INNOVATE TO REPRESENT CURRENT SCIENCE AROUND PLANT MEDICINES AND END ITS LOPSIDED ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES WHICH DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECT PEOPLE OF COLOR. WE BELIEVE THIS MONOLITH HAS ARRIVED TO GUIDE US TO A BETTER FUTURE, AND JOINS WITH US TO DEMAND THAT THE DEA BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE FOR:

      • SUPPORTING “NO-KNOCK” RAIDS THAT HAVE KILLED INNOCENT AMERICANS LIKE BREONNA TAYLOR
      • ADVANCING CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE OF INNOCENT AMERICANS FOR COMMITTING NO CRIMES WHATSOEVER
      • ARMING LOCAL POLICE FORCES WITH MILITARY WEAPONRY
      • PREVENTING RESEARCH INTO NUMEROUS LIFE-SAVING NATURAL SUBSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: CANNABIS, MESCALINE, IBOGA, AYAHUASCA, AND PSILOCYBIN
      • ADVOCATING INCARCERATION INSTEAD OF TREATMENT & REHABILITATION
      • PROVIDING AN INDIRECT “PRICE SUPPORT” THROUGH THE PROHIBITION< DERIVED “RISK PREMIUM” WHICH TRANSFORMS RELATIVELY WORTHLESS PLANTS AND CHEMICALS INTO ASTRONOMICALLY MORE VALUABLE COMMODITIES THAT CAN DESTABILIZE COUNTRIES AND FUND WARS

WE DEMAND THAT THE MONOLITH OF THE WAR ON DRUGS COMES DOWN, RECORDS ARE EXPUNGED AND CLEMANCY IS GIVEN NOW! APES TOGETHER STRONG!

DCMJ condemns the contemporary policies of the DEA, which stymy research, development, and the full legalization of the cannabis plant. Former presidents of the United States of America lawfully grew cannabis and it is anathema that American citizens are presently prevented from doing so without onerous licenses and red tape due to the DEA’s monolithic presence in drug policy. DCMJ supports these demands and calls upon the Joseph Biden administration to right the wrongs put in place by the DEA while he was a member of Congress.

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Click here to download a PDF of this press release

Sign up to testify for the November 19 DC Council hearing!

Sign up to testify on by November 17!

The DC Council is holding a special hearing on Friday, November 19 for the public to provide comment on their comprehensive cannabis tax & regulate legislation. You are invited to testify on Zoom about what you like, don’t like, and want changed in the proposed law.

The last time the DC Council had a hearing on comprehensive tax & regulate cannabis legislation was October 30 2014, before Initiative 71 was voted on and before the Harris Rider was added to the federal budget for the District of Columbia.

We have patiently waited for this incredibly important hearing and now is the time to unleash the creativity of the DC cannabis community!  We need to highlight what we, as cannabis consumers, growers, and small business owners, really want and you are invited to join us.

We have linked up with the DC Cannabis Business Association to transform next week’s Zoom Sesh to a full reading of the 74 page legislation. 

Together we will read over the proposed legislation line by line and make collective notes on a shared Google Doc about what we what like, don’t like, and what we want changed.

Often people in the cannabis community don’t feel empowered to read the laws or participate this in this important process because they are not lawyers. The truth is that you don’t need to be a lawyer to read, comment, or testify on proposed legislation!  More importantly, we will have at least one lawyer on hand during our reading next week to help everyone interpret the legislation.

First and foremost, click here to register to testify on November 19.  The sooner you testify, the earlier you will testify on Zoom on November 19. The DC Council usually makes the witness list (the people who signed up to testify) in order of their registration.  We expect a lot of people to sign up, so please fill out the google form now.  You *do not* need to be a DC resident to testify! This means anyone in the world with an Internet connection and Zoom can testify. 

Secondly, register for next week’s Zoom Sesh (see below). If you have already registered for a previous DCMJ Zoom Sesh, you do not need to register again because we’ve added you to a special RSVP email list. However, it’s always good to know how many people are attending. This month’s Special Sesh will commence at 7:10pm, Wednesday, October 13 and might go late in order for us to make it through the entire piece of legislation.

Third, if you want some good old fashioned homework, read over the 74 page legislation now. By reading B24-0118, “Comprehensive Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Act of 2021,” in advance you will be able to provide your important feedback more quickly. We recommend opening up a spreadsheet and writing the line number (left side of the page) of the sections that interests you in one column and writing the what you like, what you don’t like, and what you want changed in the next column.  When we get to your sections, you will be ready to provide your feedback.

Together we are going to craft the forward-thinking, just, and comprehensive cannabis law in the United States. Over the years, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work in other states and now is the time for us to use our collective wisdom to make DC’s tax & regulate law the one we want!

News Advisory: Cannabis Legalization Advocates to Rally Tomorrow On Capitol Hill


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2021

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

***NEWS ADVISORY***

Cannabis Legalization Advocates to Rally Tomorrow On Capitol Hill

District of Columbia Marijuana Justice Condemns Harris Amendment and Inaction on Legalization

WHAT: National Mobilization to Legalize Cannabis Demonstration
WHERE: Russell Senate Office Building at 1st and C Streets, NE, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 28, Noon (EDT) to Approximately 4:20 PM (EDT)
EVENT DESCRIPTION: Street Theater with a 51-Foot Inflatable Joint, Picketing and Oratory.

Event Will Focus on Failure by Congress to Legalize Cannabis Under a Law that Would Guarantee Criminal Justice Reforms and Restorative Justice Measures and Provide Equal Opportunity and Access for Americans to Participate in Cannabis Commerce and Consumerism.
HASHTAG: #VoteAndWeedEmOut

DCMJ video releases for news media use and distribution (volunteers gathered for preparation and sign-making ahead of tomorrow’s rally; brief remarks by DCMJ co-founder Adam Eidinger):

https://twitter.com/i/status/1442551310470029317 (35 seconds)

https://twitter.com/i/status/1442543636130975748 (95 seconds)


WASHINGTON, DC – Advocacy and education organization District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) will rally Tuesday (Sept. 28, 2021) on Capitol Hill to pressure Congress to stop stalling and pass a cannabis legalization law that would enact sweeping criminal justice reforms; level the playing field for minority and women entrepreneurs that want to enter the cannabis industry; and allow the craft cultivation of cannabis in the privacy of American homes.

Dubbed the “National Mobilization to Legalize Cannabis,” DCMJ and its supporters will also use the event to demand Congress to set free the will of the voters in D.C., who have been handcuffed by a Maryland congressman’s misguided war on legalization. Congress has allowed the Harris Amendment, imposed by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), to prevent D.C. local government from allowing the legally taxed and regulated sale of adult use cannabis, even though it was approved by the voters in 2014.

“How many successful legalization ballot initiatives and legislative victories in the states will it take for Congress to get in step with the will of the American people?” questioned Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ. “Congress stalls, makes excuses for doing nothing and refuses to acknowledge that the federal criminalization of cannabis is an injustice used to oppress Americans, not improve anyone’s lives.”

A whopping net 91% of Americans support either adult use or medical cannabis legalization, according to a Pew Research Center poll taken in April. The District of Columbia and 19 states have legalized adult-use cannabis, while D.C. and 36 states have legalized medical cannabis.

Eidinger noted, “Congress is caught up in reefer madness. The Controlled Substances Act has criminalized Americans for 50 years and still counting. Sadly, most members of the House and Senate are aware that as long as they ignore cannabis legalization they are ruining the lives of non-violent cannabis users while aiding and abetting the illegal cannabis underground.”

Although the measure known as the Harris Rider specifically overrides and ignores the will of D.C. voters, who approved adult use cannabis legalization in 2014, it is a case study in the irrational and ineffective approach Congress has for too long has embraced nationally.

“No one has done more to prop up the illegal cannabis underground than Congressman Andy Harris,” said Nikolas Schiller, co-founder of DCMJ and affiliate New York Marijuana Justice. “Andy Harris is the toast of the underground cannabis cartels that operate in the MidAtlantic region thanks to his continuing misguided and short-sighted stunt to try to suppress the legal sale of cannabis in D.C.”

DCMJ activists will gather at noon Tuesday (tomorrow) at the Russell Senate Office Building at 1st and C Streets, NorthEast. DCMJ will have its inflatable 51-foot joint with a twist – inside the inflatable will be D.C. residents, who will emerge from the joint in prison garb to symbolize the non-violent Americans incarcerated on marijuana convictions, as well as highlighting the D.C. adult use cannabis law imprisoned by the Harris Amendment.

Cannabis legalization is a cornerstone for comprehensive criminal justice reform, including wiping the slate clean of past cannabis convictions with restorative justice measures, ending taxpayer-funded prison overcrowding by releasing non-violent cannabis users, and refocusing law enforcement resources on preventing violent crimes. Cannabis laws have been used as an unscrupulous tool in the racial profiling of Black, LatinX and Indigenous people.

DCMJ, which has held several orderly, non-violent demonstrations right outside the Capitol in the past, applied for a special event permit for the demonstration, but was informed by U.S. Capitol Police officials that such permits for access to Capitol grounds are not being issued at this time. Capitol Police suspended the issuing of permits after the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Nonetheless moving forward with its plans to gather at the Capitol, DCMJ has kept lines of communication open with Capitol Police ahead of the event to assure a successful demonstration without incident. DCMJ has demonstrated peacefully in recent years outside the Capitol both with and without a permit.

DCMJ is committed to the health and safety of all Americans. Event organizers has asked any participants that show up to please wear masks and urged those who plan to attend the demonstration to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before Sept. 28. “We laid down our marker on April 20th when we launched the ‘Joints for Jabs’ vaccination incentive project that has since moved to cities and states around the country,” Eidinger said. “Any adult who showed us their proof of age and vaccination card on the 4/20 holiday received a free joint courtesy of legal craft cultivators in the District of Columbia, who donated their cannabis for the cause. It was a ‘thank you’ to those who have been vaccinated.”

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 and Congressional staffers the means to grow cannabis for themselves, deployed giant 51-foot 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 more than 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). In 2021, DCMJ conceptualized and launched the “Joints for Jabs” coronavirus vaccination incentive program that was spontaneously adopted around the U.S., including by the State of Washington. About 8,000 free joints were given to adults in D.C. and Manhattan in exchange for their getting vaccinated. Also in 2021, DCMJ was behind The Great Commonwealth Cannabis Seed Share, collecting and distributing about 20,000 seeds on the first day of legal home craft cultivation in Virginia. 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: October Zoom Sesh (10/13/21)

See you at the October Zoom Sesh!

Throughout 2021 DCMJ is hosting monthly online gatherings. Our next Zoom Sesh is scheduled to commence at 7:10pm on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. We’d love for you to join us!

To join the October Zoom Sesh, please click here to register (required!). 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

Legalization Rally at U.S. Capitol (9/28/21)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2021

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

Cannabis Legalization Advocates Announce Sept. 28 Rally at the U.S. Capitol

District of Columbia Marijuana Justice Condemns Congressional Inaction on Legalization

Activists Say It’s Important that Peaceful, Non-Violent Gatherings Return to Capitol

WASHINGTON, DC – Cannabis advocacy and education group District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) announced Tuesday that cannabis legalization activists will demonstrate peacefully Sept. 28 outside the U.S. Capitol to protest the failure by Congress and the White House to pass and enact meaningful and comprehensive criminal justice reforms, remove cannabis from the Schedule I list of outlawed federally controlled substances, and lift the congressional barriers blocking the District of Columbia from regulating cannabis.

Bolstered by unprecedented public support for legalization, and the growing number of states that continue to line up to legalize cannabis, the Sept. 28 free speech event is the first of several actions leading up to the 2022 midterm elections intended to spark lawmakers to finally get the federal government in line with the will of the American people. A whopping net 91% of Americans support either adult use or medical cannabis legalization, according to a Pew Research Center poll taken in April. The District of Columbia and 19 states have legalized adult-use cannabis, while D.C. and 36 states have legalized medical cannabis.

“If foot-dragging and procrastination were Olympic sports, no doubt about it, Congress gets the Gold, hands down,” said DCMJ co-founder Adam Eidinger. “We appreciate the work of lawmakers who have decided enough is enough with the failed war on drugs propaganda campaign and are ready to legalize cannabis. However, it only takes a handful of key opponents to block legalization. What is taking Congress and the White House so long to get their act together and join the majority of Americans who just say yes to legalization? Are they so arrogant that they really think they know better than the majority of Americans?”

Cannabis legalization is a cornerstone for comprehensive criminal justice reform, including wiping the slate clean of past cannabis convictions with restorative justice measures, ending taxpayer-funded prison overcrowding by releasing non-violent cannabis users, and refocusing law enforcement resources on preventing violent crimes. Cannabis laws have been used as an unscrupulous tool in the racial profiling of Black, LatinX and Indigenous people.

“The fact is the obsolete and ill-conceived Controlled Substance Act passed by Congress more than 50 years ago has been a prime incentive for the creation and expansion of the illegal drug cartels,” said DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller, who now heads sister group New York Marijuana Justice (NYMJ). “The longer it takes for Congress to legalize cannabis, the easier it is for the illegal, unregulated and untaxed sale of cannabis to flourish.”

Schiller added, “The congressional barrier blocking the District of Columbia from regulating cannabis, known as the Harris rider, is a perfect example of how Congress has been a windfall for the illegal sale of cannabis. Congress has aided and abetted underground operations to expand and go virtually undetected by denying the regulated sale of adult-use cannabis in D.C. by preventing a structure to be created for the legal sale of adult-use cannabis, despite the voters of D.C. approving the creation of regulated adult-use cannabis. The Harris Rider must be removed once and for all.”

DCMJ, which has held several orderly, non-violent demonstrations outside the Capitol in the past, applied for a special event permit for the demonstration, but was informed by U.S. Capitol Police officials that such permits are not being issued at this time. Capitol Police suspended the issuing of permits after the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. DCMJ is moving forward with its plans to gather at the Capitol, but will keep the lines of communication open with Capitol Police ahead of the event. DCMJ has demonstrated peacefully in recent years outside the Capitol both with and without a permit.

“It is extremely important to normalize the working relationship between peaceful demonstrators, who are protected under the Constitution, and the Capitol Police, who without question were put under extreme duress by violent insurrectionists on Jan. 6,” Eidinger said. “Like the vast majority of non-violent organizations that have gathered outside the Capitol in the past, our dispute is strictly with the policies enacted by Congress, or in the case of cannabis legalization, lack thereof. The Capitol Police have an important job to do and we respect that and we are grateful for their dedication.”

DCMJ is committed to the health and safety of all Americans. Event organizers will require participants to wear masks and urge those who plan to attend the demonstration to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before Sept. 28. “We laid down our marker on April 20th when we launched the ‘Joints for Jabs’ vaccination incentive project that has since moved to cities and states around the country,” Eidinger said. “Any adult who showed us their proof of age and vaccination card on the 4/20 holiday received a free joint courtesy of legal craft cultivators in the District of Columbia, who donated their cannabis for the cause. It was a ‘thank you’ to those who have been vaccinated.”

ABOUT DC MARIJUANA JUSTICE

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 and Congressional staffers the means to grow cannabis for themselves, deployed giant 51-foot 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). In 2021, DCMJ conceptualized and launched the “Joints for Jabs” coronavirus vaccination incentive program that was spontaneously adopted around the U.S., including by the State of Washington. Also in 2021, DCMJ was behind The Great Commonwealth Cannabis Seed Share, collecting and distributing about 20,000 seeds on the first day of legal home craft cultivation in Virginia. 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


DCMJ video releases for media distribution:
Joints for Jabs 4/20/21 https://twitter.com/i/status/1386326239326183432
Joints for Jabs promo: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=248092560359325
Great Commonwealth Cannabis Seed Share 1-7-21 (VA Legalization Day): https://fb.watch/7yYtQ7I_vT/
Great Commonwealth Cannabis Seed Share promo: https://fb.watch/v/AoEyFkE4/

INVITE: September Zoom Sesh (9/8/21)

See you at the September Zoom Sesh!

Throughout 2021 DCMJ is hosting monthly online gatherings. Our next Zoom Sesh is scheduled to commence at 7:10pm on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. We’d love for you to join us!

To join the September Zoom Sesh, please click here to register (required!). 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