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 would like to help you organize and promote a safe cannabis giveaway this Spring. From listing your time, date, and location(s) on our website and social media, to providing resources to assist in your organizing and planning, we want to help. Although we cannot provide you or your organization with cannabis until the federal government changes its laws, we can assist in cities and states where cannabis is legal. Our goal in doing this is to fully legalize cannabis, including home cultivation, and to help end the pandemic.

If you are interested in promoting your giveaway or setting up one, please fill out our Joints For Jabs Google Form. We will have custom face masks, a checklist to help plan your giveaway, and will assist in promoting your effort on our social media platforms.


CURRENT CANNABIS GIVEAWAYS

NAME VENUE LOCATION DETAILS
Joints For Jabs DC Vaccination Centers – TBD Across Washington, DC Starting in March when the general population can get vaccinated. Locations TBD
Pot For Shots Greenhouse – Walled Lake 103 EAST WALLED LAKE DR., WALLED LAKE, MI, 48390 The Greenhouse of Walled Lake “Pot for Shots”

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


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

“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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PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE – Prohibition of Marijuana Testing Act of 2019 + Medical Marijuana Program Patient Employment Protection Amendment Act of 2019

Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, announces a public hearing on B23-0266, the “Prohibition of Marijuana Testing Act of 2019,” which seeks to prohibit marijuana testing as a condition of employment unless required by law, and on B23-0309, the “Medical Marijuana Program Patient Employment Protection Amendment Act of 2019,” which seeks to prohibit the District of Columbia government from discriminating, in employment, against individuals participating in the medical marijuana program.

The hearing will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, in Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building.

Those who wish to testify before the Committee are asked to contact Ms. Charnisa Royster at labor@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-7772 by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 23, 2019, to provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any), as well as the language of interpretation, if any, they require. Witnesses who anticipate needing language interpretation, including American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, are requested to inform this office of the need as soon as possible but no later than Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Those wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. Witnesses representing organizations will have five minutes to present testimony, and individuals will have three minutes to present testimony; less time may be allotted if a large number of witnesses attends.

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements will be made a part of the official record. Written statements should be submitted by email to Ms. Royster at labor@dccouncil.us or mailed to the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 115 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on October 9, 2019.

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

Congressional Seed-In

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 8, 2018

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

“Congressional Seed-In” Announced for April 2, 2019

Citizens to Lawfully Give Viable Cannabis Seeds to Members of Congress to Demand Federal Legislation to Grow Cannabis At Home

No Current Legislation in Congress Explicitly Legalizes Home Cultivation as Corporate Lobby Grab Leaves Many Americans No Way Grow

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, cannabis reform advocates from DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”), Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”), and Virginia Marijuana Justice (“VAMJ”) will descend on Capitol Hill to lawfully give away cannabis seeds to members of Congress and their staff, 21 years of age and older. The action is to call for cannabis consumer-friendly legislation that permits adults to grow cannabis in the comfort and privacy of their homes & backyards.

“As full legalization & descheduling of cannabis approaches cannabis consumers & medical patients must be able to travel throughout the United States without fear of arrest, detainment, or harassment,” says Dawn Lee-Carty, Founder of Speak Life, a mom and founder of Speak Life, an organization dedicated to educating parents and legislators on the benefits of cannabis. Ms. Lee-Carty came to advocate the use of CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis, and THC after pharmaceuticals failed to adequately treat her epileptic 11 year old daughter. Due to the federal prohibitions on cannabis, Ms. Lee-Carty cannot travel with her daughters medicine.

After voters in the District of Columbia approved Initiative 71 in November 2014 and Congress approved the law in February 2015, all adults aged 21 years of age or older can legally grow & possess small amounts cannabis in the District of Columbia. With the annual spring planting taking place after the last frost in late April, the “Congressional Seed-In” aims to help members of Congress and their staff lawfully start their cannabis gardens in the District of Columbia. Outdoor cannabis requires cannabis to be grown in cycle with the seasons, so a timely spring planting is integral to the success of the crop. However, not every American is afforded the right to grow their own cannabis. Instead many Americans are forced to buy their cannabis from dispensaries, which costs as much as 10 times more than home grown cannabis.

“The only legislation we see in the 116th Congress moving is backed by lobbyists to deal with business interests,” says Adam Eidinger, Proposer of Initiative 71 . “We’re going up to the Hill to encourage members of Congress and their staff that they represent more cannabis consumers than cannabis businesses. We want to legally grow cannabis as a basic right and this is frankly more important to me than access to banks or tax reform for huge marijuana businesses,” adds Edinger.

WHO: Members of DCMJ, MDMJ and VAMJ, expert growers, and cannabis reform activists
WHAT: “Congressional Seed-In” – A Seed Giveaway for members of Congress and their staff
WHEN: April 2, 2019, 11:00 am until 4:20 pm – Ending Rally Near Capitol Steps on East side
WHERE: All Congressional Offices in Washington, DC
WHY: Citizens demand meaningful legislation that fully ends prohibition cannabis cultivation for every adult and allows the movement of cannabis between all States.

“I don’t want cannabis grown using nuclear or coal power. I want it grown using natural sunlight. The current system of using costly warehouses to grow cannabis plants under synthetic light using synthetic chemicals is bad for consumers and bad for the environment. There is a better way,” says Ms. Lee-Carty, who currently grows using LED technology, but would prefer to grow her daughter’s cannabis outdoors..

“The age of utilizing expensive warehouses to grow cannabis is a relic of prohibition and DCMJ & MDMJ believe that cannabis should return to the fields from which it was formerly grown,” says MDMJ co-founder Kris Furnish. “Congress and state leaders have been standing in the way of cannabis consumer friendly reform, while poll after poll show that the American public fully supports the full legalization of cannabis, including home grow.

ABOUT DCMJ
Since its founding in 2013, DCMJ has lead the nation in creative and high-profile cannabis reform activism. After introducing and passing ballot initiative 71, which legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis in the District of Columbia, DCMJ organized two large seed giveaways that provided all adults the means to grow cannabis for themselves. Since then DCMJ has deployed giant 51’ inflatable joints outside the White House, the 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 home grown cannabis at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump to 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. The “Congressional Seed-In” is DCMJ’s fourth annual “Reschedule 4/20,” day of action to highlight the need for meaningful cannabis reform legislation in the United States. In 2018 and 2019, aligned organizations MDMJ & VAMJ were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland and Virginia.

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CLICK HERE TO RSVP ON FACEBOOK!

PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Harris’ Office Charges 20 Year Old Student With Felony

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 14, 2018

CONTACT:
ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
Adam@DCMJ.org
KRIS FURNISH (720) 607-8369
Kris@MDMJ.org

CONGRESSMAN ANDY HARRIS’ OFFICE CHARGES 20 YEAR OLD STUDENT WITH FELONY

Harris Tries to Make an Example Out of Young Activist Who Recorded Staffer Without His Permission During Group Meeting After Multiple Protests

SALISBURY, MD – On Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Salisbury University progressive student activist Jake Burdett attended a medical marijuana protest against Congressman Andy Harris organized by Maryland’s new cannabis advocacy group Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ). At the meeting inside the Congressional office that resulted from the protest, Mr. Burdett briefly livestreamed one of Harris’ staffers without his permission, which Mr. Burdett did not realize was a felony – or even illegal in the state of Maryland at all. Mr. Burdett deleted the livestream the following day after he found out his recording was illegal, but Congressman Harris dropped the hammer on Burdett to try to make an example out of him by deciding to press felony charges.

“Jake, who is a serious student leader, has a bright political future ahead of him that Representative Andy Harris wants to tarnish. In his honest attempt to provide the public with transparency into actions of a Congressional office that regularly insults marijuana reformers with false accusations, Jake’s livestream served as a conduit for the public to witness the endemic corruption in Salisbury,” says Adam Eidinger, Co-Founder of MDMJ. Eidinger adds, “MDMJ activists protested Harris for his backwards views on cannabis and refusals to meet with cannabis reform activists, so we feel Jake is being treated unfairly because of his role in the Democratic Party as Vice-Chair of the Wicomico Democratic Central Committee.”

Although Mr. Burdett is pleading guilty and he has personally apologized to Congressman Harris’ staffer, he did not realize the nonconsensual livestream was against Maryland’s “all-party consent” law at the time. “Is it unreasonable for a 20 year old to think that it’s legal to record a staffer of a United States Congressman in a public space? In a society that supposedly values transparency in government, I do find it odd that Jake can be found guilty of the ‘crime’ of recording the staff of elected government representatives in a taxpayer funded space,” says MDMJ Co-Founder Kris Furnish.

“By deciding to throw the book at Mr. Burdett for an honest mistake, one that was fixed almost immediately, it shows how partisan and petty Congressman Harris has become. He clearly wants to chill citizen participation in government,” says Eidinger. “Rep. Harris is adding to his recent list of bad PR moves that includes meeting with known White Supremacist Chuck Johnson, and planning to meet with the leader, Tomio Okamura, of a far right wing party in Czech Republic, whose secretary called for the gassing of ‘Jews, gays, and Roma’.”

“Mr. Burdett’s plea, which will take place on March 1, in Wicomico County, and Harris’ slew of prior racist scandals, should not distract from the original issue that brought me and other advocates to the protest in the first place – the legalization of cannabis,” says Furnish. “Rep. Harris wants to pretend to be victimized by a 20 year old’s deleted livestream, while he supports the racist war on drugs that actually victimizes thousands of people a day by locking them up for the victimless crime of smoking marijuana, a non-addictive substance with many medicinal benefits. Rep. Harris is a medical doctor, so I’d think he of all people would recognize the medicinal benefits of marijuana, and how it could be used as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs such as painkillers, which are an epidemic in Rep. Harris’ district right now. We can’t help but wonder if Rep. Harris’ seemingly irrational opposition to legal marijuana has anything to do with the $42,200 he’s accepted from the pharmaceutical lobby in the 2017-2018 election cycle, which vehemently opposes any form of marijuana legalization,” concludes Furnish.

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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.


DCMJ 2018 Voter Guide

ATTENTION DC VOTERS:
Near the end of last week’s DCMJ Planning Meeting #14, it was suggested that since we aren’t meeting until the day after the November 6 midterm election, DCMJ community should put forward local candidate recommendations for DC voters.

For each of the offices that DC voters will choosing to elect either the incumbent or a challenger, we asked everyone at the meeting to put their thumbs up (endorse – vote for them!), thumbs sideways (neutral), or thumbs down (don’t vote for them). For some candidates there was no consensus, while other candidates DCMJ members were unanimous.

Below are the results:

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton – THUMBS UP

With her leadership on cannabis reform in Congress, specifically her introduction of H.R. 6152, the “Sondra Battle Cannabis Fair Use Act” last summer, there was consensus that DC voters should re-elect Congresswoman Norton.


Mayor Bowser – THUMBS SIDEWAYS

While many in the room support her recent effort to stop police from arresting people for public consumption of cannabis, they were unhappy that she has allowed Police Chief Newsham to continue to go after popups. There was no consensus to give her thumbs up or thumbs down, so she received a thumbs sideways.


Chairman Phil Mendelson – THUMBS DOWN

Everyone in the room gave DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson a thumbs down due to his past decisions on making public consumption of cannabis a crime instead of a civil penalty and for supporting the ban on social clubs. On the ballot, voters can choose the Libertarian Party’s Ethan Bishop-Henchman instead of Mendelson. Everyone at the DCMJ meeting was aware that he’ll likely be re-elected. That doesn’t mean cannabis activists should not stopping pressuring the Chairman to listen to cannabis users when setting public policy. There will likely be more cannabis reform legislation before the DC Council in the next two years, and the DCMJ community will need to continue to be open to working with the powerful Chairman to ensure we get the fair laws.


At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman – THUMBS UP

DC voters have the opportunity to vote for TWO At-Large Councilmembers, not just one. While there are 6 different candidates running for the At-Large Councilmember positions, there was only consensus around incumbent Elissa Silverman. It was felt that she was a consistent independent voice on the DC Council and continues to support cannabis reform. If you vote just for her, your vote will be weighted more heavily than if you vote for her and another candidate. There was a lot of discussion about endorsing incumbent Anita Bonds but her flip-flop on the social club vote, showed us that she is indifferent to cannabis reform and not worthy of DCMJ member’s endorsement.


Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau – THUMBS UP

If you live in Ward 1, you will be able to vote for Councilmember Nadeau. She has been a long-time advocate for cannabis reform (even attending one of the DC Cannabis Campaign’s first fundraisers!) and her past votes showed us that she will continue to support cannabis reform.


Ward 3 Councilmember Cheh – THUMBS SIDEWAYS

If you live in Ward 3, you will be able to vote for either Councilmember Mary Cheh or independent candidate Petar Dimchev. Based on the Ward 3 voters at the meeting, we could not come to a consensus on supporting Mary Cheh, so she has received a Thumbs Sideways.


Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie – THUMBS DOWN

If you live in Ward 5, you will have the option of choosing 1 of 4 candidates. Based on the Ward 5 voters at the meeting, they were unanimous in their position that voters should NOT vote for incumbent Councilmember McDuffie. Moreover, DCMJ members also suggested that Ward 5 voters should also NOT vote for Kathy Henderson. McDuffie and Henderson have long records of being against common sense cannabis reform, so voters should consider voting for either Joyce Robinson Paul or Amone Banks.


Ward 6 Councilmember Allen – THUMBS UP

If you live in Ward 6, you have the option voting for Republican Michael Bekeska or incumbent Democrat Charles Allen. The consensus of the DCMJ members at last week’s meeting was to support incumbent Charles Allen.


Attorney General Karl Racine – THUMBS UP

Based on his support for Initiative #71 and his continued support for cannabis reform, DCMJ members were in consensus for keeping AG Racine in office.


Shadow Senator Michael Brown – THUMBS UP

Based on his support for Initiative #7q and his continued support for cannabis reform, DCMJ members were in consensus for keeping Shadow Rep. Brown in office in order to continue to lobby for DC Statehood.


Shadow Representative Franklin Garcia – THUMBS UP

Based on his support for Initiative #71 and his continued support for cannabis reform, DCMJ members were in consensus for keeping Shadow Rep. Garcia in office in order to continue to lobby for DC Statehood.


IF’s…

If you are not registered to vote, DC has same day voter registration, so you’ll be able to vote on election day. Click here to find your polling place. You should have received the DC  voter guide in the mail, but we hope the guide above is helpful in choosing the candidates who support cannabis reform.

If you want to get involved in any local campaigns, click here to download the DCBOE candidate list, which has the contact information for all the campaigns.


If want to help get Rep. Andy Harris out of office in the 1st District of Maryland, there will be a caravan leaving DC on Monday, November 5 to ensure DCMJ members are able to work the polls on the Eastern Shore of Maryland bright & early on election day. Please email Kris@MDMJ.org to get involved!

PRESS RELEASE: RachelRamone Donlan Files Civil Case Against Rep. Andy Harris For Slamming Door On Her

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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

RachelRamone Donlan Files Civil Case Against Rep. Andy Harris For Slamming Door On Her

Lawsuit Seeks $10,420 in Damages

WASHINGTON, DC – Today cannabis reform advocate and DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”) volunteer, RachelRamone Donlan, filed a civil complaint in Form 95 against Congressman Andy Harris for his violent actions against her on October 2, 2018. In her Form 95, Ms. Donlan outlines that Rep. Harris’ untoward behavior bruised her leg and the ensuing incorrect press reports tarnished her reputation as a non-violent advocate for the reform of cannabis laws.  Ms. Donlan civil lawsuit seeks $10,420 in damage for the pain and suffering caused by Rep. Harris.

Background on the Incident Triggering Ms. Donlan’s Case

At an August 10, 2018 town hall meeting in Salisbury, Maryland, Rep. Harris gave a pledge to Ms. RachelRamone Donlan to have a meeting concerning medical marijuana.  When she saw him walking down the hallway towards his Capitol Hill office on October 2, she believed he was going to finally talk to her. As Ms. Donlan tries to speak to Rep. Harris, not touching him or yelling at him, she rushes to follow him into his public office not knowing he was entering through a private side door about 15 feet away from the actual main public entrance that was open at the time. Instead of welcoming her or saying use the other entrance to anyone present, he quickly slammed the door in her face, and physically hurt her leg and knee.  Ms. Donlan, who is disabled, weighs about 90 lbs, and suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes her intense physical pain.  She has been consuming medical marijuana since 2011 for pain relief and as a result is opioid-free.

“I was trying to speak to the Congressman about how cannabis saved my life,” said Ms. Donlan, “but instead of pausing to listen, he slammed the door on my leg and knee.” Ms. Donlan proceeded to stage an “overdose” outside of Rep. Harris’ office and in order to deal with the physical pain caused by the congressman and his staff, she lit up a cannabis “joint” and was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police for consumption of marijuana after about 1 hour on the floor.  During that period Congressman Harris released a statement to the press alleging violence had been done to him and the following day he released a second statement on his congressional website. “Congressman Harris would rather people take pills than utilize the healing properties of cannabis,” concludes Ms.  Donlan, who wrote an “apology,” to Congressman Harris and continued to seek dialogue with him before making this decision to file the formal complaint.

For over four years cannabis reform advocates have sought meetings with Rep. Harris and for four years he’s been evasive, misleading, and outright hostile to cannabis reform advocates. The October 2 incident only showed how far out of his way Rep. Harris would go to avoid civilized debate: he hid in his office like a coward. Twenty minutes later Rep. Harris came outside of his office with the U.S. Capitol Police, he couldn’t even identify the person who allegedly assaulted him.  He did recognize Adam Eidinger, a constituent that moved to Salisbury after Harris inserted legislation in the DC Budget preventing lawmaking authority to DC elected officials on matters relating to cannabis reform. Rep. Harris claim he hurt his wrist slamming the door on Rachel is an attempt to spin his cowardice to address cannabis reformers. Harris describes political violence that didn’t occur in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, but Rep. Harris’ negligent action of slamming his office door on Ms. Donlan resulted in bruising to her leg and knee was the only violence that day.  

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Apology Letter To Rep. Andy Harris

Dear Congressman Andy Harris,

After you and your staff rudely slammed your office doors on DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”), Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”) and myself, I believed that I should write a letter of apology to you and some of those affected by our recent visit to your congressional office in Washington, DC. on October 2, 2018.

I’m sorry to hear you might have hurt your wrist slamming the door on me. I’m a 46-years-old, 90 lb, handicapped, Christian, single mother that has a lifelong reputation for being a non-violent, peaceful advocate. For you to think I’m a threat to you or your office is inconceivable and ironic. It was never my intention to make you feel intimidated.

I’m sorry that formal requests, to schedule an appointment with your office have been denied for years. You told me at the town hall meeting in Salisbury, MD on August 10th that you would talk to me “offline.” I believed you, and I’m sorry I did. I thought you’d want me to enter your office and have an honest discussion. At no time did I imagine that I wouldn’t be welcome in a congressional office and now, thanks to you, I cannot visit offices unless I get an appointment. I now know it’s impossible.

I’m sorry for your soul Congressman, I pray for it daily. You fail to have the decency and ability to listen to those whose lives you affect with your staunch opposition to cannabis. Your continued prohibitionist position on common-sense drug reform hurts the poor, sick, elderly, abused, students, and our valiant veterans in states where cannabis is already legal, Have you forgotten the Hippocratic Oath? You can improve the lives of medical patients immediately if you’d only evolve on this issue.

I’m sorry that you receive money from “Big Pharma,” As a doctor, you refuse to look at the overwhelming evidence that cannabis is a healing plant. You pretend to play both sides by expressing feigned interest in research to delay legalization when research already exists. You should listen to the people, like myself, that the plant has helped. The plant is not dangerous, rather it’s the antiquated laws you continue to support that makes it dangerous.

I’m sorry for my friends at DCMJ and MDMJ because you called us “violent protesters” on your congressional website. I know none of us ever are violent. The only violence endured came from you and your staff in the form a slammed door without any explanation.

I’m sorry that so many of our friends have died in the opiate crisis waiting for cannabis to become legal and accepted by doctors like yourself. I’m sorry that you won’t help disadvantaged communities by ending the racist war on drugs. I’m sorry my friends have gone to jail for a plant. The courts are still overflowing with cases of simple marijuana possession and consumption.

I’m sorry for the women of the United States. In this moment of #MeToo and after Dr. Ford’s recent testimony, that a member of Congress assumes that an assertive woman is the same as being physically aggressive or violent. It’s true, I’m a confident and assertive woman and I won’t apologize for that. I’m sorry you fear me so very much you resorted to calling the U.S. Capitol Police.

I’m sorry that, like many women after being assaulted by a man, you attempted to put all of the blame on me and not hold yourself accountable for your actions. To defame my friends and me is typical of the toxic masculinity that you and many members of Congress exude. However, don’t forget I still have two years to file an assault claim against you. It might take me that long to decide if I should put myself through that process, again. Hopefully, by then the Equal Rights Amendment will be ratified by the final state needed for the full passage and I will be equally protected under the law.

You should apologize, Congressman. Not just for slamming the doors on us but for all of the pain and suffering at your hands. Are you sorry for your part in the opiate epidemic caused by your hostility toward cannabis reform that could otherwise save lives? I doubt that.

Finally, I’m sorry you may not want to hear from the people like myself but you will on election day. I’m not the only strong-minded woman in the cannabis community. and we will not be silenced.

Sincerely,

RachelRamone Donlan

 


Ms. Donlan can be reached at Rachel@DCMJ.org or on Twitter @RachelRamone

Joint Statement from MDMJ & DCMJ on the #OverdoseHarris Demonstration

Over two weeks ago, we announced our plans for two demonstrations at Congressman Andy Harris’ offices to highlight his callous attitude toward cannabis as a treatment for opioid addiction. As the sponsor of the budget rider that prevents the Council of the District of Columbia from legislating on cannabis reform, we have, on numerous occasions, both in person and in writing, sought a meeting with Congressman Harris to discuss why he continues to tyrannically stymy common-sense cannabis reforms in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and across the nation.  Harris has refused to meet with medical cannabis patients because he takes money from the pharmaceutical industry that would rather push pills than a plant.

At approximately 12 noon today, Tuesday, October 2, cannabis reform advocates gathered outside of Congressman Harris’ District of Columbia office at 1533 Longworth House Office Building. As advocates were making their way toward the Congressman’s door, he was walking down the hallway in the opposite direction and made a bee-line towards his office. DCMJ volunteer, Rachel Ramone Donlan, whom Congressman Harris promised he would talk to in person about cannabis reform, asked to speak with the Congressman and followed him to one of the entrances to his office. Instead of acknowledging her and fulfilling the promise he gave to her at his August 10 town hall meeting in Salisbury, Maryland, Congressman Harris slammed the door on her face. She tried to open the door only to find Harris had locked the door. Ms. Donlan then walked toward the other entrance to Congressman Harris’ office and his staff slammed the door on her leg. Ms. Donlan is disabled and suffers Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes her intense pain. She consumes medical cannabis in order to stay off addictive prescription drugs. After the door caught her foot, she proceeded to go on with the planned demonstration and used her medical cannabis in the hallway to help mitigate the physical pain caused by Harris and his staff.

At no time was there any assault on the Congressman, rather the Congressman and his staff assaulted cannabis reform advocates instead of attempting to hear why they were at his office in the first place.  Any bruising to the Congressman’s wrists was self-inflicted and not caused by Ms. Donlan. She weighs approximately 90 pounds and is about 5 feet tall and is spending tonight in jail due to Harris’ continued callous attitude toward cannabis reform.


This was first published on the DCMJ Twitter account

Demonstrations Planned Against Rep. Andy Harris to Highlight His Callous Attitude Towards DC and Maryland’s Opioid Epidemic

Demonstrations Planned Against Rep. Andy Harris to Highlight His Callous Attitude Towards DC and Maryland’s Opioid Epidemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 21, 2018

CONTACT:
ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
Adam@DCMJ.org
KRIS FURNISH (720) 607-8369
Kris@MDMJ.org

Demonstrations Planned Against Rep. Andy Harris to Highlight His Callous Attitude Towards DC and Maryland’s Opioid Epidemic

“Overdose” at Rep. Andy Harris’ Offices Announced For Tuesday, Oct.  2

SALISBURY, MD – Cannabis reform activists from DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”) and the newly formed Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”) will come together for a series of free speech activities against Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD-01) at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2,  2018 at his Washington, DC office at 1533 Longworth House Office Building; and later that day at 4:20 p.m. at his Maryland office at 100 East Main Street, Suite 702, Salisbury, MD.

Citizens were incensed by his statements at a recent town hall meeting on Aug. 10 in Salisbury, MD, where the congressman continued to reiterate his staunch opposition to cannabis reform.

“Citizens of Maryland and the District of Columbia are tired of Andy Harris turning a blind eye to a safe solution to the opioid crisis,” said Kris Furnish, co-founder of MDMJ. “Marijuana is a proven pain management alternative to opioids, but in Maryland we have only seen an increase in opioid related deaths since Harris was first elected in November 2010. Members of the GOP Congress led by Congressman Harris remain willfully ignorant and outright hostile to cannabis reform. This MUST STOP!”

Many cannabis reformers have lost friends and family members due to prescription opioid abuse and addiction. Members of DCMJ and MDMJ will be a voice for those people by demonstrating “overdoses” at Harris’s offices. The action will simulate opioid “overdoses” by laying on the ground one person at a time as others read eulogies written by members of DCMJ and MDMJ for loved ones lost to opioids.

Members of DCMJ and MDMJ have repeatedly sought meetings with Harris to discuss the need for cannabis reform. On June 1st, Harris held three consecutive public events and refused to respond to cannabis reformer questions. Members of DCMJ and MDMJ were outspoken at his town hall meeting in Salisbury, Aug. 10. In addition Rachel Donlan and Kris Furnish (members of DCMJ and MDMJ) hand delivered copies of H.R. 6152, to his Washington, DC office with no response. To follow up, Furnish contacted his office Sept. 10, where his staff was unaware of our unanswered requests. MDMJ has informed Harris’s staff that protests are in the works due to his continued unresponsiveness.

“These protests wouldn’t be necessary if someone would just sit down with us advocates. We’ve tried to meet with Rep. Harris and they won’t get back with us,” said Furnish, a constituent who lives in the district Harris represents.

Background

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland is one of eight states that had significant increases in death rates involving prescription opioids, based on analytical data from 31 states and Washington D.C. in 2015.  Moreover, Maryland is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid related overdose deaths. The death rate in Maryland has consistently been above the national average since 1999, ranging from roughly 1.5 to 3 times the average rate. In 2016, there were nearly 30 deaths per 100,000 persons related to opioids compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people. An estimated 650 of the 1,821 deaths in 2016 were a result of synthetic opioid overdose. Deaths related to heroin and prescription opioids have also been increasing rapidly from 173 deaths in 2012 to 650 deaths in 2016 related to heroin and from 52 to 812 deaths in the same period related to prescription opioids.

“We believe medical cannabis can help curb the number of opioid deaths by being used as safe alternative for opioid addicts in Maryland, but Rep. Andy Harris is standing in the way,” said AJ Dawson, a founding member of MDMJ, who is currently facing multiple charges involving marijuana in Wicomico County. Dawson’s Sept. 25 court date stems from a brutal arrest during a June visit to Maryland for political activism. Learn more about Dawson’s fight for freedom by clicking here.

Harris is one the top recipients of pharmaceutical money in Congress.  He currently sits on the board of a drug development company that is making synthetic products for cancer treatment nausea and pain which can also be alleviated more cheaply and safely by marijuana.  Harris, an anesthesiologist by trade, is one of the few medical doctors in Congress and has received over $200,000 from health professionals.

“We are tired of letting Rep. Andy Harris take money from pharmaceutical corporations while simultaneously looking the other way as increasing deaths related to the opioid epidemic devastate the Eastern Shore,” concluded Adam Eidinger, co-founder of MDMJ, who introduced Initiative 71 that legalized home cultivation of cannabis in the nation’s capital.

Another reason Harris will be the target of protests is his interference in local DC cannabis lawmaking. Despite the passage of Voter Initiative 71 in Washington, DC by a majority of 70% in December of 2014, Harris introduced a budget rider that prevents federal and local funds to be used for legalizing recreational marijuana in the District of Columbia. At past public events Harris attended, members of DCMJ and MDMJ have pressed him on his solution to the opioid epidemic in his district, but also on the immorality of one person not elected by by 700,000 blocking an entire jurisdiction from crafting responsible marijuana reform.

“In April of this year I moved my voting residence to Salisbury, MD in Harris’s district so I could convince him he’s got to change on cannabis as his policies are hurting DC and Maryland citizens,” Eidinger said. “So far he’s not listening or even talking to me, so it’s time to take the gloves off and protest.”

Members of the media may contact Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671 or by email at Adam@dcmj.org with inquiries.  The general public is encouraged to RSVP via FACEBOOK.

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CANCELLED – DCMJ & MDMJ Beach Day

Due to Hurricane Florence, we are cancelling the DCMJ & MDMJ Beach Day! Please sign up for our email list to find out about our latest plans!


Join us in Ocean City on Sunday, September 16, 2018

SAVE THE DATE!! >>> September 16

On the Sunday, September 16, we’re heading out to Ocean City for a sandy summit! We’re inviting all cannabis activists and candidates for elected office in the DDMV (that’s Delaware, DC, Maryland, and Virginia!) to join us for some sunshine, voter registration, music, swimming, and informal cannabis policy discussion.

Bring your finest cannabis schwag (no, not ditch weed, but tshirts, shorts, umbrellas, flags, etc. emblazoned with cannabis botany) and celebrate the end of summer and the coming end of cannabis prohibition.  We should have more logistical information, like a Ride Share Board, ready soon. If you can drive from DC to OC and have a few extra spots in your car, you should help out!! Please take a moment and invite your friends to the DCMJ & MDMJ Beach Day!

Congresswoman Norton introduces “Sondra Battle Cannabis Fair Use Act”

Nikolas Schiller, Sondra Battle, Adam Eidinger with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton as she signs the Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act of 2018 aka the Sondra Battle Cannabis Fair Use Act
Exciting News!

We are pleased to share with you some cannabis reform history in the making. Today DC’s Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced the “Marijuana in Federally Assisted Housing Parity Act of 2018,” aka the “Sondra Battle Cannabis Fair Use Act,” which will prevent cannabis users living in federally assisted housing, in states with medical or adult use cannabis laws, from being evicted for possessing, consuming, or growing cannabis.

This federal legislation would not have been introduced had it not been for Ward 7 resident Sondra Battle coming to a DCMJ Planning Meeting and sharing with us the trials and tribulations she was forced to endure to live in a mold-free home. Currently, Americans in states with medical cannabis or adult use laws can be evicted if they are caught using, possessing, or growing cannabis. As a fibromyalgia patient, who instead of using opiates to control her pain opted for medical cannabis, Sondra’s property management company used the knowledge of her medical cannabis use as a means to not remove the toxic black mold in her home. “If you tell on us, we’ll get you evicted for your medical cannabis!”

Most cannabis reform legislation you read about concerns cannabis business interests and doesn’t effect the people you hear the least about- the poorest of our society. Today’s legislation is groundbreaking because it has the ability to affect millions of Americans and ensure they can choose a safer alternative to opiates. When this legislation is passed, it will ensure that low-income cannabis users are not treated like second class citizens any longer. Sondra helped open our eyes to why it is important that DCMJ continues to fight for all cannabis users, growers, and their families.

A huge thank you goes out to Congresswoman Norton, her staff (Bradley Truding, Benjamin Fritsch, and Trent Holbrook) for helping draft and craft this model legislation, and most importantly, to Sondra Battle, who helped draw attention to an issue hidden from so many citizens eyes.

+ Click here to read Congresswoman Norton’s Press Release

+ Click here to read Adam Eidinger’s Washington Post Op-Ed The D.C. residents left out of the ‘District of Cannabis’ that was published nearly one year ago

INVITE: January 420 Zoom Sesh (1/13/2021)

Photo: Crowd at #Trump420 (1/20/2017)

December’s 420 Zoom Sesh was a huge success, so we are following it up with the first 420 Zoom Sesh of 2021, which is scheduled to commence at 4:19pm on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

To join the January 420 Zoom Sesh, please click here to register. We will send out a reminder email with the link and passcode to everyone who registered about one hour before the January 420 Zoom Sesh begins. Questions or suggested Agenda items? Please email 420ZoomSesh@DCMJ.org

INVITE: 420 Zoom Sesh (12/16/2020)

It’s that time of year for a holiday party! But alas, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are not going to celebrate in person this year. Instead, we are hosting a special 420 Zoom Sesh next Wednesday (12/16) and you are invited!

The draft agenda for the dankest holiday Zoom ever is pretty short: recap DCMJ’s 2020 activities, provide some updates on Initiative 81, discuss DCMJ’s 2021 plans, and fill our Zoom screens with as much smoke as possible before the fire alarm goes off.  The special 4:20 Zoom Sesh will commence promptly at 4:19pm, so don’t be late!

To join the 420 Zoom Sesh, please click here to register. We will send out a reminder email next Wednesday morning to everyone and the passcode to everyone who registered about one hour before the 420 Zoom Sesh begins. By this point in 2020, you probably have Zoom installed on your computer or phone. If not, please download it here. Questions? Email 420ZoomSesh@DCMJ.org and we’ll do our best to answer.