Washington DC is one of the few places where recreational cannabis is legal. The District of Columbia is joined by California, Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon as one of the few places where cannabis consumption for funsies is allowed. It’s not that way for everyone though. Cannabis is still a Schedule I drug, so naturally this makes things a little complicated for people living in public housing, or in places with non-cannabis friendly leases in DC.
Cannabis is not Legal Everywhere in DC
When recreational cannabis was legalized in DC a few years ago by Initiative 71, this did not make cannabis legal everywhere in DC. Renters have to get permission from their landlords to use cannabis inside of their residence. The ones who are unfortunate enough to live under a non-cannabis friendly lease are not allowed to use cannabis at home. People living in public housing have to adhere to federal laws, which means no cannabis for them, if they want to keep living in the same place. Don’t even think about smoking up outside, because that is still illegal in DC.
DC Laws are Inherently Classist
DC’s cannabis laws are incredibly classist. The people who live in public housing are obviously low income, and tend to be disproportionately minorities as well. Homeowners, who are allowed to smoke and grow in their homes, are of course, wealthier and tend to be caucasian. Was DC’s cannabis law Initiative 71 set up to intentionally favor the rich? No, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, but nonetheless it’s interesting that things turned out this way. DC’s cannabis law should be amended to allow social clubs for cannabis consumption, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of legal cannabis.
Source: Washington Post
Image Source: Green Rush Daily
What are your thoughts? How could DC’s laws be changed so that low income people aren’t excluded from cannabis consumption? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!