Pubdate: Tue, 12 Jan 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller


The Jan. 7 editorial "Clouded judgment" regurgitated the same tired 
argument that the District is moving too fast to change 
discriminatory cannabis laws. But as council member Brianne K. Nadeau 
(D-Ward 1) said, there is no emergency that warrants a ban.

Beginning July 17, 2014, the day the D.C. Council's decriminalization 
law went into effect, it stopped being a criminal offense to have 
cannabis clubs in the District. It wasn't a criminal offense to have 
private events, where the public is not invited and cannabis could be 
used behind closed doors. The decriminalization law says that the 
smell of cannabis is not probable cause for police action. Private 
cannabis clubs could have been created before Initiative 71 was voted 
on, but they weren't. By rubber-stamping the mayor's ban, the council 
inadvertently created the "smokeasy," a private residence where 
adults consume cannabis together. Is this the "unintended 
consequence" of poorly crafted emergency legislation? It's a hallmark 
of poor governance to enact laws to solve a problem that doesn't 
exist. By banning cannabis-using adults from gathering at private 
venues, the council created a problem.

We look forward to working with the mayor and the D.C. Council on 
fixing the ban so all adults have access to safe places outside their 
homes to use cannabis responsibly.

Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller, Washington The writers are 
founders of DCMJ and authors of Initiative 71.
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