Can Washington’s Gift Economy In Marijuana Work?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  It sounds like an idea a stoner might come up with.

In Washington, D.C., it’s now legal to possess marijuana, to grow it, to smoke it and to give it away. But you’re not allowed to trade in it. You can give your neighbor up to an ounce, but if he gives you money or even bakes you a pie in exchange, that’s illegal.

The District of Columbia has legalized marijuana — but is trying not to create a market in marijuana. It’s aiming for a gift economy, not unlike what you might experience at Burning Man, but permanently.

Other legalizing jurisdictions are taking a more traditional approach. Colorado and Washington State have both established regulated markets in marijuana that look a lot like those many states have to regulate and tax alcohol. District of Columbia council members were expected to do the same until Congress passed a law barring them from spending money to regulate marijuana. That left the city with noncommercial legalization as its only option after voters repealed the law prohibiting marijuana in the district last November.

Read full article @ The New York Times