70% District voters of Washington DC in the month of November approved a ballot of Initiative 71 This initiative legalized the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants by individuals aged 21 and up, and the ability to gift up to an ounce of pot to others. The measure went into effect from Thursday; it did not legalize marijuana sales so anyone trying to sale marijuana for profits will still find themselves behind bars. Smoking weed in public is still banned.
At present, marijuana is legal in Washington DC, Colorado, and Alaska and later this Year Oregon will get its legalization. All four states already or will eventually allow sales at retail outlets. However, under federal law, marijuana is still illegal but the Obama administration has avoided enforcing these laws were they conflict with state laws. Pot will face prohibition on federal property such as parks and monuments. Even in federally subsidized public housing, Marijuana remains banned. Initiative 71 aimed not just to create funding for the regulation of substance but also to legalize sales.
What has been the marijuana legalization team looking for?
The team was working hard is to get people recognize that there are at least ten fundamental architectures to legalize marijuana. According to the January report on marijuana legalization for the Vermont Legislature, Jon Caulkins (drug policy expert at Carnegie Mellon University) and other experts outlined 12 alternatives to the current model of prohibition. Among twelve options these five are in most use –
- Continued prohibition with decreased penalties
- Commercial sales and legalization
- Allowing adults to grow marijuana
- Distribution in small private clubs
- Ask the state governments to control the supply chain and sell pot
Why DC is a testing ground for cannabis reform
Mark Kleiman, a drug policy expert at UCLA, explained in the month of November that with the end of alcohol prohibition in the year 1930 stopped the crime and violence that used to take place due to illicit alcohol market. Further, he added that alcohol marketed to encourage excessive drinking is and continues to present major health and safety problems, causing nearly 88,000 deaths per year
While pot can also become risky for some people. “The main risk of cannabis is losing control of your cannabis intake, “Kleiman recently said. “That’s going to have consequences in terms of the amount of time you spend not fully functional. When that’s hours per day times years, that’s bad.”
And from that perspective of drug policy, experts think that DC would be a great testing ground and unique to initiate marijuana policy. Colorado, Washington State, Alaska, and Oregon will already show whether the commercialization works or not or will organize retail outlets to sell the drug. DC will get a chance to try something else.
What did Congress say about the legalization?
Congress was trying hard to stop the implementation of the law by attaching language to a continuous resolution that passed in December, blocks funding of any sort to legalize marijuana for recreational purpose. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has sent a letter to Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser proposing that Initiative 71 cannot go into effect under the law. Chaffetz shares his opinion saying that legalizing would be wrong, as there are severe consequences if people violate the provision. It is not just any little game.
Within the 30-day layover period, Congress has to review the initiative after it was transmitted in January. During that period, Congress could have easily rejected the proposal using a joint resolution of disapproval. Congress though has not passed such a measure.
A Quick Look at the New Reforms
The law includes the following rules and decision made on Thursday –
- An adult can carry two ounces of marijuana. And the amount more than that is still illegal and will cause a misdemeanor with a fine of $1,000 or six months in jail.
- An adult can gift up to one ounce, though selling is banned
- Not just selling, purchasing of the drug is also not legal. The law prohibits.
- The law allows growing up to six marijuana plants, but three “mature, flowering plants. These three plants, by the way, are bound to be enormous! At any given time with the provision intended to make it more difficult to grow and sell.
- The law allows growing of marijuana within the interior of the house and premises, building, or rental unit that constitutes the person’s principal residence.
- You can consume it in person but cannot legally consume it in public in any fashion
- Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not possess any legal limit per se, but it is illegal to drive under the influence of Marijuana in any amount.
- At present, legalization only applies to local DC territory rather you can possess it on any federal land. But exceptions are there such as you cannot have the substance in your possession in National Mall and Capitol.
- Having pot in possession anywhere might make you stopped by U.S. Park Police of Capitol Police. As per the U.S. Capitol Police’s website, you must not possess pot within a 47-square block radius around the Capitol.
However, the fact is that it will remain illegal to sell marijuana. In the midst, Obama proposed allowing pot sales in D.C. by letting city officials use local funds not generated by federal government to create a marijuana tax and regulatory system. In the absence of that get around, city officials have been working on other ways to manage the roll out of the new law.
Legalization of marijuana has given medical marijuana caregivers a strong cause to serve more people suffering from debilitating pains due to chronic diseases. The correct handling of the laws and new reforms can allow the patients to seek medical cannabis easily and with fewer or no hassles.
And to meet the right medical cannabis caregivers we invite you to Grassmatch, a legal marijuana marketplace.
Or, if you prefer higher THC varieties of cannabis: