Sales of home grow equipment are booming, bartenders have been known to receive joints as tips, and the city council is considering licensing cannabis clubs, but congressional conservatives continue to ban pot sales in Washington, D.C.
“It is kind of the Alice in Wonderland of cannabis legalization," Alex Jeffrey, executive director of DC NORML, told Reuters, "It's like there's all these rules and regulations that no one follows.”
After last year’s legalization vote, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city leaders limited pot to home cultivation and consumption after Congress, which has oversight over D.C., blocked pot sales through a spending bill rider.
“This limbo that we're in because of the congressional rider is untenable,” said D.C. council member Brianne Nadeau.
The District's complicated restrictions have spawned a green rush of home cultivation. The 2015 District of Columbia State Fair even started a "Best Bud" marijuana competition.
Pot advocates estimate that from 500 to 1,000 people are growing for maximum yield.
Capital City Hydroponics now sells as many starter kits in a day as it did in a typical week before legalization, store clerk John Diango told Reuters.
“All walks of life come in here, young to old, all classes, all creeds and colors,” Diango said.
Council member Nadeau and other lawmakers voted unanimously this month to study whether to license private pot clubs.
Proponents say the clubs would provide a place to smoke for people living in federal public housing or who do not want to smoke in front of their children.
Unfortunately, there are other limitations that likely won’t change. Possession is still prohibited on federal land, which is roughly 20 percent of Washington, DC.
So, if you’re going to visit the nation’s capital, download this a helpful map published last year by the Washington Post and be careful where you walk.
(Image Courtesy of 420 Magazine)