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D.C. Council Votes To Permanently Ban Social Marijuana Consumption Outside Of Residences


marijuana washington state felony drug possessionThe D.C. Council today again reversed its position on a law banning the consumption of marijuana anywhere outside a private home, even though it is legal for adults to use and possess up to two ounces of marijuana in the District. By voting 7-6 today in favor of B21-107, which would make the “social use ban” permanent, the council ignored its own prior decision to make the ban temporary and set up a task force to study the issue.

The task force, which the council voted to create on February 2, was intended to study how D.C. could move forward to end the ban and allow marijuana consumption in private venues. Although that bill will not officially become law until April 29, following congressional review, steps have already been taken by the mayor and the council to set up the task force.

This is the second unusual reversal by the council. Earlier this year, the council voted to let the ban expire but then reopened the vote and reversed itself after receiving pressure from the mayor. There will be one more vote on the social consumption ban before it is finalized.

Statement from Kate M. Bell, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, who has lobbied on this issue since the initial hearing on the ban:

“It’s a shame that the council didn’t allow the task force, which they created, to do its job. At the hearing last year, councilmembers heard how the ban hurts people who live in public housing or apartments where they cannot use marijuana or don’t wish to consume it at home in front of their children. And now, we have clear data showing that the law criminalizing public consumption is disparately enforced, with African Americans constituting 84% of the arrests last year even though they are only 49% of D.C.’s population.

“We hope that D.C.’s newly granted budget autonomy will allow the council to reverse this decision and move toward sensible marijuana policies once congressional riders are removed. But we are very disappointed that the council voted to permanently impose this unnecessary ban on the freedoms that the vast majority of the voters support.”

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Source: The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org


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Johnny Green


  1. They want those of us that still go out to only consume booze get pissy face drunk, wake up in ” the klink ” trying to remember any lawyers name. Assholes all

  2. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    It’s time to pin down the position on cannabis of people running for local office. In Washington D.C. it’s a very big issue as cannabis is legal there. In other places the question is whether police should be paid for enforcing these laws. Should the local tax payers pay a cop for the time spent in court, filing papers, and incarcerating users of marijuana, when he could be guarding against thieves and violent crime. If he’s a prohibitionist, make him do it on his time not at city expense.

  3. SilentPatriot on

    Listen, and listen well, oh mighty makers of laws and dispensers of “justice”. YOU CAN NOT BAN FREEDOM! Thank you.

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