The mass of protesters gathered outside the White House couldn't
quite wait for 4:20 Saturday afternoon, the pre-planned time they had
designated to light their marijuana-packed joints and pipes in
protest of the federal laws that prohibit the drug's consumption.
Just past 4: 17, plumes of smoke arose from the crowd of more than
100 people, which was surrounded by officers from the U. S. Park
Police, Metropolitan Police and the Secret Service. Still, because
the activists remained on the street - owned by the District, which
has legalized pot possession- and off the sidewalks-owned by the
federal government, which has not - no one was arrested. Just two
people were given citations and $25 fines for public consumption. A
man who knew the pair said they were confronted by police only after
a member of their group accidentally blew smoke in an officer's face.
[continues 199 words]
Not long ago, a man who had covertly dealt pot in the nation's
capital for three decades approached a young political operative at a
birthday party in a downtown Washington steakhouse.
He was about to test a fresh marketing strategy to take advantage of
the District's peculiar new marijuana law, which allows people to
possess and privately consume the drug but provides them no way to
legally buy it for recreational use. Those contradictions have
created a surge in demand and new opportunities for illicit pot purveyors.
[continues 1614 words]
In a chandeliered banquet hall not far from the U.S. Capitol on
Saturday, a man with a Duke MBA and a Wall Street background offered
the same sort of tips often given to aspiring entrepreneurs in places
like this one: Develop a clear business plan; raise enough capital to
weather setbacks; find a niche and own it.
Listening were 150 or so people packed into rows of cushioned
red-and-gold chairs at the District's first "Cannabis Academy," an
event perfectly timed to capitalize on the rush from the city's newly
legalized marijuana-growing marketplace. Butthe stereotypical images
of stoner culture-leaf-adorned-Bob Marley flags and smoky photos of
piled-high pot-were, by design, nowhere in sight at the Holiday Inn.
The crowd, more grayhaired than long-haired, sipped coffee and
thumbed through 100-plus page workbooks with categories such as
"Legal" and "Accounting & Merchant Services."
[continues 1233 words]