Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Friday, January 18, 2019

Marijuana group plans seed giveaway as legalization nears


Initiative 71 will legalize the possession and free exchange of marijuana when it takes effect next Thursday, but the sale of the drug will remain illegal. So the D.C. Cannabis Campaign will give out seeds to grow the plant for free.

Group chairman Adam Eidinger, an AU alumnus, who led the charge to draft the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, said the group will hold a free marijuana seed distribution event for the public sometime in March. The venue is currently undecided.

Initiative 71 was approved by 70 percent of District voters in November. The law, which city officials say will go into effect Feb. 26, allows the personal use and cultivation of marijuana for those 21 and above, but it does not allow it to be sold. The plant and its products may be given to others for free, however.

It remains somewhat uncertain what will happen if the city stands by legalization on Feb. 26, since Congress passed a spending bill in December with a provision attached to block the city from loosening marijuana laws.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city leaders have said the provision’s language, disallowing the enactment of looser marijuana laws, does not affect Initiative 71 because the initiative was automatically enacted once voters approved it. Congress passed their spending bill more than a month after voters approved Initiative 71.

But Republicans in Congress are standing firm. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland), who wrote the provision to block legalization, warned the city will be in violation of Congress if they move forward with legalization, the Washington Post reported.

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