Search Results for: DC COUNCIL

DC Council Chairman Mendelson Introduces Equitable Recreational Cannabis Legislation

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson – along with Council members Kenyan McDuffie, Charles Allen, Brianne Nadeau, Brooke Pinto, Christina Henderson, and Mary Cheh – introduced the most comprehensive, progressive, and equitable legislation to regulate the sale of recreational Cannabis in the District of Columbia.

“This legislation is the culmination of over a year of work by my office and external stakeholders,” Mendelson said. “It creates a comprehensive regulatory framework for the cultivation, production, and sale of recreational cannabis and most significantly, this bill centers reinvestment and opportunity for people and communities hit hardest by the War on Drugs.”

The “Comprehensive Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Act of 2021” differs from previous iterations of recreational marijuana sales bills in that it establishes:

  1. A Social Equity program that mandates at least half of all licenses to be set aside for Social Equity applicants (defined as residents who have been previously convicted of cannabis-related offenses or have lived ten of the last 20 years in areas with high rates of poverty, unemployment and arrests);
  2. A Cannabis Equity and Opportunity Fund to provide financial assistance to Social Equity applicants. This is especially important given that traditional financing options are unavailable for cannabis and especially difficult for social equity applicants. Thirty percent of tax revenues from cannabis sales would be deposited into this fund;
  3. A Community Reinvestment Program Fund that would provide grants to organizations addressing issues such as economic development, homeless prevention, youth development and civil legal aid in areas hardest hit by the drug wars. Fifty percent of tax revenues from cannabis sales would be deposited into this fund;
  4. A robust public education campaign that will inform District residents of the law and focus on responsible use and harm reduction strategies for residents of legal age who consume cannabis;
  5. Automatic expungement of cannabis-related arrests and convictions, and opportunities for resentencing for individuals currently serving sentences for cannabis-related convictions;
  6. Protections for District residents who legally possess and consume cannabis pursuant to the Act so that they do not lose benefits, employment, or access to other critical resources; and
  7. Authorization for banks in the District to conduct business with cannabis licensees, and allowances for local tax deductions for cannabis licensee business expenses.

DC Council Looks Into Emergency Funds To Snub Congress And Implement Marijuana Regulation

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The D.C. City Council is continuing to snub Congress by exploring ways to use emergency reserve funds to implement a regulatory framework for marijuana.

According to councilmembers, the city may be able to tap in emergency reserve funds to get around the prohibition set in place by Congress which states that the city cannot spend Fiscal Year 2015 funds “to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with [marijuana’s] possession, use, or distribution,” Marijuana.com reports.

The requirement, then, surrounds whether councilmembers can convincingly argue that marijuana legalization—without any accompanying regulation or taxation—constitutes a threat to “public safety or health.”

Since no dispensaries are currently permitted, there is no way for users to legally purchase the drug. This means that users find themselves looking into the black market for untested, unregulated cannabis, which is often controlled by dangerous cartels.

Marion Barry, DC Council Aim To Decriminalize Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Thanks partly to D.C. councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry, the nation’s capital could soon join the states of Colorado and Washington in decriminalizing small amounts of non-medical marijuana.

D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells proposed “The Simple Possession of Small Quantities Of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2013″ at a public hearing Wednesday. [Read more…]

DC Council Could Vote To Decriminalize Recreational Marijuana Possession As Early As January

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The D.C. Council could send a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana to Mayor Vincent Gray as early as January.

That’s according to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who introduced the bill and chaired a committee hearing on the measure on Thursday. Nine of Wells’ 13 colleagues have signaled their support for the bill, and Gray also supports it. [Read more…]

DC Council Could Vote To Decriminalize Recreational Marijuana Possession As Early As January

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The D.C. Council could send a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana to Mayor Vincent Gray as early as January.

That’s according to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who introduced the bill and chaired a committee hearing on the measure on Thursday. Nine of Wells’ 13 colleagues have signaled their support for the bill, and Gray also supports it. [Read more…]

DC Council Considers Decriminalizing Small Amounts Of Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: D.C. Council members invite the public to testify on a bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. The hearing will be held Wednesday at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library.

Currently, if you’re caught with less than an ounce of pot in D.C. then it’s a misdemeanor offense with penalties of up to 6 months in prison. This bill would drop that offense to just a civil penalty, like a speeding ticket, with only a $100 fine. [Read more…]

DC Council Considers Decriminalizing Small Amounts Of Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: D.C. Council members invite the public to testify on a bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. The hearing will be held Wednesday at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library.

Currently, if you’re caught with less than an ounce of pot in D.C. then it’s a misdemeanor offense with penalties of up to 6 months in prison. This bill would drop that offense to just a civil penalty, like a speeding ticket, with only a $100 fine. [Read more…]

Pot Fans, Foes Fume As Washington DC tests Limits Of High Life

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Almost a year has passed since it became legal to smoke, but not sell, marijuana in Washington, D.C., and pot enthusiasts and opponents alike are chafing under a compromise that leaves smokers in a haze over how to obtain their weed.

Sales of equipment to grow the plants indoors are booming, bartenders are getting joints as tips and the city council is deliberating whether to license cannabis clubs.

Both smokers and police complain that the city’s ban on sales, imposed by congressional conservatives, are leaving residents to bump up against legal limits around the drug.

“It is kind of the Alice in Wonderland of cannabis legalization. It’s like there’s all these rules and regulations that no one follows,” said Alex Jeffrey, executive director of DC NORML, a marijuana reform advocacy group.

D.C. Council Considers Letting Ban Expire On Marijuana Use In Private Businesses

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: D.C. lawmakers are considering dozens of issues raised during public testimony surrounding whether it should ban marijuana use in private businesses.

The clarification to the Marijuana Decriminalization Act would continue the ban put forward in emergency legislation passed after pot was legalized in D.C.

Issues raised in the judiciary committee hearing Thursday ranged from government regulation and Congressional involvement to the punitive effects the ban has on businesses and residents who don’t own their homes.