Since the passing of Initiative 71 during the marijuana elections of 2014, marijuana advocates in the country’s capital have been patiently waiting to grow, carry, distribute, as well as smoke marijuana. It appears however, that the wait is almost over.
As early as February 28th, if Congress chooses to stay true to the will of the people, Initiative 71 will take effect. What this initiative establishes is that marijuana users over the age of 21 will be able to legally possess two ounces or less of marijuana, cultivate up to 6 plants, transfer of up to an ounce, and use smoking paraphernalia, such as glass pipes and wax vaporizers. Despite certain members of the U.S Congress that have shown fierce opposition to legalization, efforts towards blocking the voter approved initiative have been denied.
Even though this landmark legislation is something that enthusiasts, and patients alike, have been dreaming about since the initiative was passed, some advocates are still worried about the infancy stages of this newly developing market, and the uncertainties of how unregulated marijuana businesses will effect the overall process.”Where can it be be bought? Sold? Eaten? Smoked? We’re not going to have any answers to any of that, and that makes me very concerned,” said D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) to the Washington Post.
Unlike Colorado or Washington state that have legalized recreational marijuana, D.C’s local government has banned the establishment of rules governing how marijuana will be sold. “The District will be unique because you can’t technically sell cannabis directly,” said Tiffany Bowden, the co-founder of the pro-legalization group ComfyTree, to the Washington Post.
The fact that marijuana legalization will take effect this month even though there will be no clear regulatory system setup to sustain marijuana businesses, poses a threat to the entire process. At best, citizens can expect a mix between full legalization and decriminalization, which leaves more grey areas than clear distinctions of what’s legal and what’s not. Regardless of this fact, depending on how successful Initiative 71 is or not, citizens can expect a much calmer climate when dealing with law enforcement on the issue of marijuana.