How to Legally Buy Weed In D.C
Nearly three years later, I still meet people who don’t understand how the law works—sometimes despite living in the city and enjoying cannabis.
Medical marijuana has been Legally Buy Weed In D.C. for almost 20 years, and in November 2014, voters in D.C. legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older by passing Initiative 71.
The Initiative, also known as the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative, legalized limited possession and cultivation.
It also failed to provision for sales. The legalization does not apply to federal property, which leaves a lot of Washington D.C. excluded from the law.
The passage of Initiative 71 in 2014 made it legal under District of Columbia law (but not federal law) for people 21 and older to possess two ounces or less of marijuana and for people 21 and older to grow up to six cannabis plants in their primary residence.
Up to three of these plants can be “mature” at any given time. Initiative 71 also allows adults who are at least 21 to give—as in, for free—up to an ounce of cannabis to another adult who is at least 21. Consumption may take place only in private. No one may use, possess, exchange, or cultivate marijuana on federal property, of which there is quite a bit in D.C.
D.C. has developed a thriving “gift economy” marijuana industry. These businesses—many offering delivery—sell everything from coffee cups to artwork—all overpriced and all coming with a little something extra. It’s a curious legal and semantic tightrope, and one the District’s politicians and police seem determined to keep walking.
Based on the established law of D.C, informal pot sales are forbidden. Individuals cannot sell cannabis to other individuals under any circumstances, nor can they exchange cannabis for other goods and services. It has remained difficult to quickly acquire cannabis from complete strangers.
So instead of the straightforward marijuana storefronts common in Colorado or Nevada, Washington has developed a thriving “gift economy” marijuana industry. These businesses–many offering delivery–sell everything from coffee cups to artwork–all overpriced and all coming with a little something extra and consumers are allowed legally buy weed in DC.
It’s a curious legal and semantic tightrope, and one the District’s politicians and police seem determined to keep walking.
In addition to the dozens of different businesses working through the gift loophole, there are now hundreds of marijuana-themed public events taking place across the city — most openly advertised on social media.