Back in the 1960s, it was believed by a lot of people — admittedly, people high on drugs — that all the world needed to solve all its problems was to smoke grass, drop acid, or eat mushrooms. The hippies actually believed that if all politicians got high, there wouldn’t be any more war or poverty.
On Thursday of last week, a voter-sponsored law went into effect in Washington that made it legal to smoke marijuana in private. You can also grow your own — up to six plants are legal.
A voter-approved initiative legalizing limited recreational use of marijuana took effect Thursday. But with some Republicans on Capitol Hill threatening legal action against the District of Columbia, the future of pot in the federal city remains a bit hazy.
“It’s legalization without commercialization,” Adam Eidinger, chairman of the DC Cannabis Campaign, told “Power Players.”
While adults can now legally possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana — about a large sandwich bag’s worth – it’s still against the law to buy or sell it and smoke in public, according to city officials.
“There are no store fronts where people who are 21 and older can just walk in and buy a bag of marijuana, unless you’re a medical marijuana patient,” said Eidinger, who’s has spent the last 15 years campaigning for legal pot in his hometown.
For now, the only legal way to get weed is to grow it. Under the law, District residents are allowed up to six plants.
“And they just can’t sell it,” Eidinger said. “As soon as you start deriving income, you’re violating the initiative.”
But some Republicans in Congress, which provides a check on District governance under the Constitution, say steps to legalize weed in the District amount to dangerous defiance of federal law.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, has even threated prison time for Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The budget bill passed by Congress in December and signed by President Obama explicitly bans D.C. from enacting the marijuana legalization initiative — despite the fact that it was approved in November by voters at a 2-to-1 margin.
Eidinger says the interference by lawmakers is “undemocratic and offensive.”
“When these out of state, mostly Republican congressman, try to interfere with local democracy here … they make their party look bad,” he said. “They’re supposed to be the party of home rule, of local democracy, of states’ rights, of business entrepreneurship, of freedom, and when they go against marijuana, they contradict every one of those things.”
Yeah, those Republicans are party poopers. Legalizing a substance that is illegal in 47 states has nothing to do with “freedom,” or “states’ rights” (DC isn’t a state), or “business entrepreneurship,” and everything to do with congressional authority to regulate the affairs of the District of Columbia.
I love Chaffetz’s threat to throw Bowser in the clink. Given the history of corruption by Washington mayors, it might be a good idea to give her a head start in serving her inevitable prison term.
In the privacy of congressional offices across Capitol Hill, one wonders if hippie dreams of a stoned Congress are beginning to take shape. Will they install a snack machine in the cloak room to deal with the congressional munchies? Will congressmen work to a Grateful Dead soundtrack? Female staffers, already on their guard against these leches, better be extra careful given what pot can do to a man’s libido.
Will we hear a soft chorus of “Don’t Bogart that Joint, My Friend” and the pungent odor of grass coming from congressional office buildings?
Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Long live Congress.