Seed Share Gives Marijuana Enthusiasts Seeds To Grow

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The approval of Initiative 71 legalized marijuana in the District for personal use at home.

It did not, however, allow for the buying or selling of it.

Home growing is a key part of the new law. The trouble is, many enthusiasts don’t have any seeds to grow.

That prompted the idea for a mass seed share, planned for Thursday evening.

 

D.C. Residents Won’t Let Congress Blunt Their Enthusiasm For Legal Pot Business

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  On the first weekend after the legalization of marijuana in the nation’s capital, a sell-out crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom with the same basic mission: Learn how to capitalize on the economic opportunity that’s headed for D.C., the so-called “Green Rush.” Conference attendees, who paid up to $299 for the weekend, listened to presenters talk about securing investors, navigating complex tax issues, and cultivating customers along with your plants.

The unique challenge in D.C. is that Initiative 71, which went into effect on Thursday, only permits the home cultivation and possession of small amounts of marijuana. Buying and selling are still illegal, thanks to Congressional intervention, effectively blocking many of the opportunities to create jobs and revenue that states such as Colorado are currently capitalizing on.

But the legal obstacles didn’t blunt the enthusiasm of many residents in the adjoining expo and job fair, which was free to the public. “This is the new frontier, man,” Dave, a 26-year-old resident of Northeast D.C. told ThinkProgress. After he finished signing up with one of the staffing agencies present, he added that he was really encouraged by “how open people are in terms of getting you involved, teaching you new things. They’re looking for growers and more inexperienced people.”

D.C.’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative Under Review By Congress

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The marijuana legalization initiative adopted by D.C. voters was transmitted to Congress Tuesday, starting the clock on a review period that defies efforts by Republicans to block its implementation.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson had Initiative 71 transmitted to the House and Senate Tuesday, starting the 30-day legislative review period during which Congress can move to disapprove the legislation.

By transmitting the legislation, the council ignores the efforts of some Republican lawmakers who have sought to stop the legalization effort. Last year, Republicans amended a congressional spending bill to include language they say blocks the city from spending any money to loosen drug laws.

But the potential for a showdown between the District and Congress looms as D.C. lawmakers, including Mr. Mendelson and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, believe that the initiative was self-executing and took effect when voters approved it — well ahead of the adoption of the spending bill by Congress.

 

Can D.C. Still Legalize Marijuana? Depends What “Enact” Means

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The House delivered an expected blow to D.C.’s plans to legalize marijuana last night when it voted in favor of a spending bill that contains a provision intended to block Initiative 71—the D.C. ballot measure to legalize the drug that 70 percent of voters supported on Election Day.

President Barack Obama has already said that he would sign the bill into law, despite disagreeing on principle with Congress meddling with local D.C. affairs (and also strong objections from many Democrats to provisions that would let federally guaranteed banks conduct derivatives trades again and raise caps on contributions to political parties).

But at least some officials say there’s still hope for D.C.’s marijuana law, particularly in the favorable reading of the spending bill that Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is championing. And as a result, by Thursday, they had quietly stopped fighting the legislation as aggressively as they were when it was first released.

The bill prohibits D.C. from using funds to “enact any law, rule or regulation” to legalize or reduce the penalties associated with possession of marijuana. Norton argues that Initiative 71 was enacted when voters approved it in November. Now, the District just needs to carry it out and implement it. And the provision does not prevent the District from “carrying out” the law. Typically provisions like this, which attempt to gut a law through the appropriations process, include language preventing use of funds to “enact or carry out,” not just enact, whatever they’re trying to block. Rep. Andy Harris‘ legislation to block D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization, for instance, contained the words “carry out.”

“Based on a plain reading of the bill and principles of statutory interpretation, the District may be able to carry out its marijuana legalization initiative,” Norton wrote in a press release.

Washington, D.C., Voters Strongly Support Marijuana Legalization

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Washington, D.C., voters appear to be ready to legalize marijuana, according to a new poll that puts support at 65 percent.

The NBC4/Washington Post/Marist poll’s finding that district voters support legalization by amost a 2-1 margin “is the highest support ever for a marijuana legalization ballot initiative,” Adam Eidinger, chair of D.C. Cannabis Campaign, the group backing the legalization measure, said in a statement. “It vindicates the work of this campaign so far, but we still have more work to do turning out the vote come Election Day.”

On Nov. 4, D.C. voters will decide Initiative 71, which would legalize adult marijuana use, possession of up to two ounces, and home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants for personal use. The sale of marijuana would remain illegal. The D.C. Council is considering a separate bill that would allow the regulation and taxation of marijuana.

 

The new poll suggests D.C. will join Washington state and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. Just days before Washington state voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, Public Policy Polling found 53 percent support for the measure. The day before Colorado voters approved marijuana for recreational use by adults, PPP found 52 percent support.

 

Campaign To Legalize Marijuana In D.C. Selects New Slogans For November Vote

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The campaign to legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital has settled on its slogans for D.C. voters.

The two lines were not tested with focus groups or polled for impact, but campaign chairman Adam Eidinger said he is confident that organizers have nailed it.

The simple message that voters will continue to see on bright-red posters for Initiative 71 remains the same: “Legalize.”

 

Can Congress Get Stoned If D.C. Legalizes Marijuana?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  When the District of Columbia Board of Elections agreed to put an initiative on the November 4 ballot that would legalize marijuana in the district, they prompted an interesting question: Will Congress be allowed to get stoned?

The short answer is—yes. If passed, Initiative 71 will allow D.C. residents above the age of 21 to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, cultivate up to six cannabis plants at home, and transfer, not sell, up to 1 ounce. Assuming that members of Congress who live in D.C. are adults, they, too, will be permitted to get stoned at their leisure.

But don’t start dreaming of hot-boxing the Capitol. “This initiative changes D.C. law,” says Bill Piper, the director of public affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Marijuana possession would still be illegal on federal property.” Until cannabis is removed from the schedule I substance list, it will not be allowed on federal property. So members of Congress couldn’t light up at work—but they could if they live in the district. “Possessing marijuana in their own home would be legal under D.C. law, as it would be for anybody else,” says Piper.