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”.

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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:
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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!