Cannabis is legal to possess in Washington, D.C., but do federal employees actually smoke weed? Weed was legalized recreationally in Washington, D.C., but retail sales are not allowed just yet. However, a headline reading, “federal employees in D.C. are buying loads of legal weed,” may lead you to believe otherwise.
Do Federal Employees Actually Smoke Weed?
The article titled “federal employees in D.C. are buying loads of legal weed” is actually misleading.
What the survey actually says is that 11 percent of the survey respondents who were government employees had bought marijuana legally. That’s government employees, not necessarily federal.
However, researchers found government employees were more likely to purchase marijuana from a legal retailer than the average respondent. In fact, the overall percentage of survey respondents who said they purchased cannabis from a legal retailer was eight percent.
Buying Legal Cannabis in Washington, D.C.
Consumer Research Around Cannabis surveyed 1,368 people in the D.C. media market. That market includes parts of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. Therefore, some of the government employees that claimed to buy legal weed probably did so outside of Washington, D.C.
As of now, there is no way to legally purchase or sell cannabis in Washington D.C. So, they would have had to have acquired their cannabis in a state with a system for legal medical marijuana sales. The only way to “buy” weed in Washington, D.C. is through a gifting loophole.
The loophole is great for everyone other than federal employees. Any federal employees toking on legal weed could be risking their careers.
“Federal law on marijuana remains unchanged,” former OPM Director Katherine Archuleta told federal employees two years ago. “Marijuana is categorized as a controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. Thus knowing or intentional marijuana possession is illegal, even if an individual has no intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana.”
Partaking in criminal conduct can lead to a federal employee being removed from their post altogether.
When a federal employee violates the Controlled Substances Act, they can be terminated due to unfavorable suitability. However, the repercussions depend on “(i) the nature and seriousness of the conduct, (ii) the circumstances surrounding the conduct, and (iii) contributing societal conditions.”
Government Employees Want Legal Cannabis
According to the survey, close to 42 percent of the government employees surveyed approve of legalizing recreational and medicinal marijuana. About 21 percent want strictly medicinal marijuana legalized. About a quarter of government employees have no opinion on the matter, and only 11 percent believe cannabis should not be legalized at all.
Do government employees smoke weed? Yes. Do federal employees actually smoke weed? Probably not.