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‘Green Rush’ Begins in Washington, D.C.
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As recreational marijuana becomes legal in Washington, many are anxious to explore the new laws.

Summary: Recreational marijuana is now legal in Washington, D.C. leading many to explore the limits of the new laws.

According to Reuters, the possession of small amounts of pot became legal in Washington, D.C. today. Many have said that a “green rush” has been triggered, although local officials and members of Congress continue to disagree over the new standards in the nation’s capital.

  
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Washington joins Colorado, Alaska, and Washington state, all of which have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. However, federal law still prohibits using pot recreationally. According to the Huffington Post, medical marijuana was legalized in Washington, D.C. in 2010.

Alaska’s marijuana legalization laws became effective earlier this week.

Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said, “Nationwide, it (legalization) is clearly symbolic in its ability to impact other places.”

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St. Pierre said the new legal framework was “depenalization” since sales of marijuana are still illegal. He feels the black market will not be too disrupted by the new laws. City finance officials predict that the marijuana market will bring in $130 million each year.

Voters approved Initiative 71 with a 65 percent majority in November. The law became effective at 12:01 a.m.



Read about the controversy surrounding marijuana legalization in D.C. here.

Although Oregon voters approved a similar measure, also in November, it will not be legal until July.

The new laws in the District of Columbia allow adults to have up to 2 ounces of marijuana. They may grow up to six plants at home, and three may be mature. Sales are illegal, but transfers of up to an ounce will be allowed. According to the Washington Post, there will be no weed shops and no open-air smoking allowed.

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Public smoking remains illegal, and pot is barred from federal areas in the city—roughly one-fifth of D.C. Bongs, pipes, and other such paraphernalia are legal.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and other officials promised on Wednesday that marijuana would become legal, even though Republicans on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee argued that the legalization was not allowed.

Jason Chaffetz, the Committee Chairman, explained that a December spending bill prevented the capital from spending money to legalize marijuana or lessen penalties involving the substance. Congress oversees the District of Columbia.

Legalization triggered a “green rush,” a term describing the excitement of entrepreneurs, growers, and users to explore the new laws and their loopholes.

Legal marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the country.

Michael Bayard owns Capital City Hydroponics. His store sells indoor gardening equipment. His business has increased by 50% since January. Home marijuana kits are sold at his store, and range in price from $420 to $1,200. He said, “We’re ready for the influx of people looking for exactly that kind of garden.”

ComfyTree, a Michigan cannabis consultancy, sponsored a marijuana expo in D.C. It is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Already, dozens of exhibitors and hundreds of visitors are registered.

The D.C. Cannabis Campaign led the movement to legalize Initiative 71. It plans to conduct a seed exchange in March. Adam Eidinger, the leader of the group, plans to reopen his paraphernalia store that was closed down by law enforcement two years ago.

Source: Reuters

Photo credit: Examiner



 

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