Ed Rosenthal: Grow Like a Pro
Ed Rosenthal: Grow Like a Pro

DC Bans Pot Clubs, Activists Threaten Protest

A battle is shaping up in Washington, DC over the City Council's Mar. 3 decision to ban marijuana use in bars and at private events. Initiative 71 supporters say they may protest the decision with a massive smoke-out on Apr. 20.

The 4th of July Smoke-in and March in 2002.

“There’s a big reason to gather and use cannabis in defiance of the law to demand a place to gather in private that’s legal,” says organizer Adam Eidinger. “The mayor told me all along she didn’t like the idea of smoke-ins and we were willing to not organize them as a tactic. But it’s on the table now."

The new law legalizing marijuana in the District went into effect Feb. 25. It allows for possession and home growing, but does not permit public use outdoors or in commercial spaces like bars and clubs. This is pretty standard: The same bans on public use exist in Colorado and Washington State.

Update: On Mar. 13, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser made a peace offering to Eidinger, giving him prestigious 420 license plates. "I love it. It's out of a movie or somethjing," he gushed about the gift, but also worries that "every policee officer in town is going to know who's in the car."

Activists question why marijuana is treated differently than alcohol. If you can drink in a bar, why can't you smoke or vape in a club or coffeeshop similar to what they have in the Netherlands?

The infographic below, created by the Dutch Embassy, compares DC and Amsterdam. What's missing is the number of coffee shops in Amsterdam (approximately 280). There are none so far in the Nation's Capitol. If Eidinger has his way, that will soon change.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.