NORML Helps Explain DC’s New Marijuana Law

The District of Columbia experienced a historic moment Friday night when DC NORML stopped by the 21st Amendment Bar at the Holiday Inn Capitol to present High Times with some free and legal reefer to celebrate marijuana reform in President Obama’s backyard.

On Thursday, the nation’s capital officially implemented Initiative 71, which legalized the possession, cultivation and transfer of recreational marijuana. And while the majority of Washington’s cannabis enthusiasts understand the concept of possession and growing, it seems that no one has a clue what it means to “legally transfer” the herb to another person.

To help clarify the definition of “transfer,” as it pertains to the new law, I met with members of DC NORML at 4:20 p.m. in the crowded bar of a downtown hotel where executive director Alex Jeffrey extended to me, on behalf of High Times, the gift of ganja while attorneys, salesmen and other working class citizens boozed it up in the background.

“I am so super stoked, so excited, to be one of the first individuals and organizations to take advantage of Initiative 71 by legally transferring less than one ounce of marijuana from our organization to High Times,” Jeffrey said. “What an honor… and especially to do it in the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital.

“It is absolutely important that this is being done,” he continued. “It’s a role model leadership for not only the District of Columbia, but also for every other state that is looking to follow us. We are able to legally give marijuana away for free, without payment, without problem, without illegality, in a place that is totally okay. And we can feel like we’re doing it because it’s what we believe. We hope to inspire everyone else to take advantage of our laws and change your own because the movement’s begun, and we’re excited to continue this movement, not only as the coming weekend unfolds, but to every other citizen, every individual, that steps foot in the District of Columbia, as long as you’re not on federal ground.”

Although it is illegal to consume cannabis in public view, there is nothing written in the language of Initiative 71 that outlines specific boundaries for transfer deals except that marijuana remains illegal on federal property. The law allows the ” transfer to another person twenty-one years of age or older, without remuneration, marijuana weighing one ounce or less.”

While Jeffrey and I did consider the distinct possibility of trouble erupting once the hotel caught wind of us admiring at least four strains of the sweet leaf in their upscale watering hole, we felt confident the only heat that would be brought down on us would be nothing more than hot air.

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