Virginia Marijuana Justice Seed Giveaway

Fighting for cannabis users, growers, workers, and their families A CBD story in Henrico County planned to give away marijuana seeds today, but after a large turnout this morning hours before the event was slated to begin, the store had to make changes to prevent the event from shutting down. Some lucky Virginians will not only start July with legal cannabis but with free seeds to grown at home, consistent with the new law.

DC Marijuana Justice

Fighting for cannabis users, growers, workers, and their families

Press Release: Initiative 71 Authors Urge DC Council to Include Cottage Industry Licenses

November 17, 2021

ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
[email protected]

Initiative 71 Authors Urge DC Council to Include Cottage Industry Licenses

WASHINGTON — Opening up D.C. farmers markets to adult-use cannabis sales and licensing sales by D.C. craft cultivators and cottage industry entrepreneurs are the focus of a carefully vetted amendment that will be presented by District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) at a public hearing Friday of the D.C. Council.

“Combining criminal justice reforms and economic innovation, the amendment would guarantee D.C. implements a profitable, equitable, affordable and transparent system of adult-use cannabis sales, testing and cultivation,” says to Nikolas Schiller, author of the Cottage Industry Amendment and co-author of Initiative 71.

The amendment establishes a “Cottage Industry License” for adult residents, and “Farmers Market Endorsement” license that would allow sales by local craft cultivators and entrepreneurs, molding social equity and decriminalization into a new, necessary and innovative revenue stream. The amendment includes enforceable rules and regulations for anyone who is issued either license.

The amendment states, “A cottage industry license shall authorize the licensee to grow and produce medicinal and/or recreational marijuana within their residence for sale and delivery at wholesale directly to manufacturers, testing facilities, retailers, and farmers markets.”

Adding, “A Farmers Market Endorsement is a license issued to Cottage Industry Licensees or Microbusiness Licensees that authorizes the licensee to sell the cannabis at Farmers Markets in the District of Columbia.”

“The intent and spirit of Initiative-71, which D.C. voters approved seven years ago, was from the start to decriminalize the plant in D.C., end to the persecution of local cannabis users, and establish a system of equitable, safe, affordable and all-inclusive cannabis commerce, from micro-sales to dispensaries,” said Adam Eidinger, the proposer of Initiative 71 and co-founder of cannabis advocacy and educational group DCMJ.

“We have an obligation to implement a system that does not shut out any cannabis entrepreneur, who wants to make an income, will abide by the regulations, and pay sales and taxes on profits. In state after state, legislatures have left out many American entrepreneurs by allowing an exclusive ‘Big Pot’ oligopoly to dominate the local adult-use marketplace.” Eidinger adds, “We can break the cannabis oligopoly here in DC if we just legalize with the little guy in mind.”

“The D.C. Council has a chance to do what no state that has succeeded in doing so far, creating a pathway to moving the cannabis underground and ‘grey market’ to the economic mainstream,” DC Cannabis Business Association founder Lisa Scott.

The amendment was crafted after countless hours of deliberation and discussion, including open meetings and a three-part reading of the entire bill hosted by DCMJ. A range of citizens, including moms, dads, veterans, activists, business people and lawyers, all contributed ideas and commentary.

“This amendment represents the will of the D.C. cannabis community. It’s thoughtful with respect to the local diversity, comprehensive, and carefully worded,” said Nikolas Schiller. “The message was clear that many D.C. residents want to be a part of the coming commercial cannabis marketplace, but they fear they will be unfairly excluded from ownership and partnership in a cannabis enterprise. The D.C. Council can break the cycle and become the model of success.”

Apes Erect 2,001 Pound Steel Monolith at DEA’s Headquarters

October 20, 2021

ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
[email protected]

Apes Erect 2,001 Pound Steel Monolith at DEA’s Headquarters

Unconventional Protest Decries Government Agency That Has Prevented Research Into the Therapeutic Uses of Many Natural Plants & Substances While Continuing Heavy Handed Swat Raids on Americans Citizens

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – Today the community group District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”) learned that a group calling itself “Anonymous Apes” are celebrating in protest the arrival of a mysterious metal monolith standing nine feet and weighing over 2,000 pounds outside of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (“DEA”) headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The criminal justice and drug policy reform activists who wheeled the full size 2001: Space Odyssey monolith replica dressed as apes to prevent police retaliation and because it looks even cooler. The Anonymous Apes provided DCMJ the following statement about why they visited the DEA:




      DCMJ condemns the contemporary policies of the DEA, which stymy research, development, and the full legalization of the cannabis plant. Former presidents of the United States of America lawfully grew cannabis and it is anathema that American citizens are presently prevented from doing so without onerous licenses and red tape due to the DEA’s monolithic presence in drug policy. DCMJ supports these demands and calls upon the Joseph Biden administration to right the wrongs put in place by the DEA while he was a member of Congress.

      Sign up to testify for the November 19 DC Council hearing!

      The DC Council is holding a special hearing on Friday, November 19 for the public to provide comment on their comprehensive cannabis tax & regulate legislation. You are invited to testify on Zoom about what you like, don’t like, and want changed in the proposed law.

      The last time the DC Council had a hearing on comprehensive tax & regulate cannabis legislation was October 30 2014, before Initiative 71 was voted on and before the Harris Rider was added to the federal budget for the District of Columbia.

      We have patiently waited for this incredibly important hearing and now is the time to unleash the creativity of the DC cannabis community! We need to highlight what we, as cannabis consumers, growers, and small business owners, really want and you are invited to join us.

      We have linked up with the DC Cannabis Business Association to transform next week’s Zoom Sesh to a full reading of the 74 page legislation.

      Together we will read over the proposed legislation line by line and make collective notes on a shared Google Doc about what we what like, don’t like, and what we want changed.

      Often people in the cannabis community don’t feel empowered to read the laws or participate this in this important process because they are not lawyers. The truth is that you don’t need to be a lawyer to read, comment, or testify on proposed legislation! More importantly, we will have at least one lawyer on hand during our reading next week to help everyone interpret the legislation.

      First and foremost, click here to register to testify on November 19. The sooner you testify, the earlier you will testify on Zoom on November 19. The DC Council usually makes the witness list (the people who signed up to testify) in order of their registration. We expect a lot of people to sign up, so please fill out the google form now. You *do not* need to be a DC resident to testify! This means anyone in the world with an Internet connection and Zoom can testify.

      Secondly, register for next week’s Zoom Sesh (see below). If you have already registered for a previous DCMJ Zoom Sesh, you do not need to register again because we’ve added you to a special RSVP email list. However, it’s always good to know how many people are attending. This month’s Special Sesh will commence at 7:10pm, Wednesday, October 13 and might go late in order for us to make it through the entire piece of legislation.

      Third, if you want some good old fashioned homework, read over the 74 page legislation now. By reading B24-0118, “Comprehensive Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Act of 2021,” in advance you will be able to provide your important feedback more quickly. We recommend opening up a spreadsheet and writing the line number (left side of the page) of the sections that interests you in one column and writing the what you like, what you don’t like, and what you want changed in the next column. When we get to your sections, you will be ready to provide your feedback.

      Together we are going to craft the forward-thinking, just, and comprehensive cannabis law in the United States. Over the years, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work in other states and now is the time for us to use our collective wisdom to make DC’s tax & regulate law the one we want!

      News Advisory: Cannabis Legalization Advocates to Rally Tomorrow On Capitol Hill

      Click here to RSVP on Facebook!

      September 27, 2021

      ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
      [email protected]
      KEN BAZINET (202)660-2449
      [email protected]

      ***NEWS ADVISORY***

      Cannabis Legalization Advocates to Rally Tomorrow On Capitol Hill

      District of Columbia Marijuana Justice Condemns Harris Amendment and Inaction on Legalization

      WHAT: National Mobilization to Legalize Cannabis Demonstration
      WHERE: Russell Senate Office Building at 1st and C Streets, NE, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.
      WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 28, Noon (EDT) to Approximately 4:20 PM (EDT)
      EVENT DESCRIPTION: Street Theater with a 51-Foot Inflatable Joint, Picketing and Oratory.

      Event Will Focus on Failure by Congress to Legalize Cannabis Under a Law that Would Guarantee Criminal Justice Reforms and Restorative Justice Measures and Provide Equal Opportunity and Access for Americans to Participate in Cannabis Commerce and Consumerism.
      HASHTAG: #VoteAndWeedEmOut

      DCMJ video releases for news media use and distribution (volunteers gathered for preparation and sign-making ahead of tomorrow’s rally; brief remarks by DCMJ co-founder Adam Eidinger):

      WASHINGTON, DC – Advocacy and education organization District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) will rally Tuesday (Sept. 28, 2021) on Capitol Hill to pressure Congress to stop stalling and pass a cannabis legalization law that would enact sweeping criminal justice reforms; level the playing field for minority and women entrepreneurs that want to enter the cannabis industry; and allow the craft cultivation of cannabis in the privacy of American homes.

      Dubbed the “National Mobilization to Legalize Cannabis,” DCMJ and its supporters will also use the event to demand Congress to set free the will of the voters in D.C., who have been handcuffed by a Maryland congressman’s misguided war on legalization. Congress has allowed the Harris Amendment, imposed by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), to prevent D.C. local government from allowing the legally taxed and regulated sale of adult use cannabis, even though it was approved by the voters in 2014.

      “How many successful legalization ballot initiatives and legislative victories in the states will it take for Congress to get in step with the will of the American people?” questioned Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ. “Congress stalls, makes excuses for doing nothing and refuses to acknowledge that the federal criminalization of cannabis is an injustice used to oppress Americans, not improve anyone’s lives.”

      A whopping net 91% of Americans support either adult use or medical cannabis legalization, according to a Pew Research Center poll taken in April. The District of Columbia and 19 states have legalized adult-use cannabis, while D.C. and 36 states have legalized medical cannabis.

      Eidinger noted, “Congress is caught up in reefer madness. The Controlled Substances Act has criminalized Americans for 50 years and still counting. Sadly, most members of the House and Senate are aware that as long as they ignore cannabis legalization they are ruining the lives of non-violent cannabis users while aiding and abetting the illegal cannabis underground.”

      Although the measure known as the Harris Rider specifically overrides and ignores the will of D.C. voters, who approved adult use cannabis legalization in 2014, it is a case study in the irrational and ineffective approach Congress has for too long has embraced nationally.

      “No one has done more to prop up the illegal cannabis underground than Congressman Andy Harris,” said Nikolas Schiller, co-founder of DCMJ and affiliate New York Marijuana Justice. “Andy Harris is the toast of the underground cannabis cartels that operate in the MidAtlantic region thanks to his continuing misguided and short-sighted stunt to try to suppress the legal sale of cannabis in D.C.”

      DCMJ activists will gather at noon Tuesday (tomorrow) at the Russell Senate Office Building at 1st and C Streets, NorthEast. DCMJ will have its inflatable 51-foot joint with a twist – inside the inflatable will be D.C. residents, who will emerge from the joint in prison garb to symbolize the non-violent Americans incarcerated on marijuana convictions, as well as highlighting the D.C. adult use cannabis law imprisoned by the Harris Amendment.

      Cannabis legalization is a cornerstone for comprehensive criminal justice reform, including wiping the slate clean of past cannabis convictions with restorative justice measures, ending taxpayer-funded prison overcrowding by releasing non-violent cannabis users, and refocusing law enforcement resources on preventing violent crimes. Cannabis laws have been used as an unscrupulous tool in the racial profiling of Black, LatinX and Indigenous people.

      DCMJ, which has held several orderly, non-violent demonstrations right outside the Capitol in the past, applied for a special event permit for the demonstration, but was informed by U.S. Capitol Police officials that such permits for access to Capitol grounds are not being issued at this time. Capitol Police suspended the issuing of permits after the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Nonetheless moving forward with its plans to gather at the Capitol, DCMJ has kept lines of communication open with Capitol Police ahead of the event to assure a successful demonstration without incident. DCMJ has demonstrated peacefully in recent years outside the Capitol both with and without a permit.

      DCMJ is committed to the health and safety of all Americans. Event organizers has asked any participants that show up to please wear masks and urged those who plan to attend the demonstration to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before Sept. 28. “We laid down our marker on April 20th when we launched the ‘Joints for Jabs’ vaccination incentive project that has since moved to cities and states around the country,” Eidinger said. “Any adult who showed us their proof of age and vaccination card on the 4/20 holiday received a free joint courtesy of legal craft cultivators in the District of Columbia, who donated their cannabis for the cause. It was a ‘thank you’ to those who have been vaccinated.”


      Since its founding in 2013, DCMJ has led the nation in creative and high-profile cannabis reform activism. After introducing and passing DC’s Initiative 71 in 2014, which voters legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis, DCMJ organized three large seed giveaways that provided all adults and Congressional staffers the means to grow cannabis for themselves, deployed giant 51-foot inflatable joints outside the Capitol, the White House, the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Times Square in New York City, the 2016 Presidential Debates, Annapolis Statehouse and Boston’s Freedom Rally, as well as distributing more than 10,000 joints of District of Columbia homegrown cannabis at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, and attempting to distribute 1,227 joints at the congressional “Joint Session” in 2017, where U.S. Capitol Police unlawfully arrested seven DCMJ activists (All charges were dropped the following day). In 2021, DCMJ conceptualized and launched the “Joints for Jabs” coronavirus vaccination incentive program that was spontaneously adopted around the U.S., including by the State of Washington. About 8,000 free joints were given to adults in D.C. and Manhattan in exchange for their getting vaccinated. Also in 2021, DCMJ was behind The Great Commonwealth Cannabis Seed Share, collecting and distributing about 20,000 seeds on the first day of legal home craft cultivation in Virginia. In 2018, 2019, and 2021, aligned organizations MDMJ, VAMJ, COMJ, and NYMJ were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, and New York. DCMJ demands cannabis be removed from the Controlled Substances Act and all Americans are given the right to grow cannabis in the safety and privacy of their homes.

      INVITE: October Zoom Sesh (10/13/21)

      Throughout 2021 DCMJ is hosting monthly online gatherings. Our next Zoom Sesh is scheduled to commence at 7:10pm on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 . We’d love for you to join us!

      To join the October Zoom Sesh, please click here to register (required!). You can help spread the word by RSVPing on Facebook and inviting some of your friends. We will send out a reminder email with the Zoom link and passcode to everyone who registers about one hour before the 420 Zoom Sesh begins. Questions or suggested Agenda items? Please email [email protected]

      DCMJ Statement on Sha’Carri Richardson

      For Immediate Release
      July 7, 2021

      *** Statement from DCMJ Co-Founder Adam Eidinger ***

      Legalization Advocate Condemns the Deplorable Decision to Ban Sha’Carri Richardson

      Fastest Woman on Earth Wrongly Shamed for Legally Consuming Cannabis While in Mourning

      Biden Must Do More than Just Question Rule USATF used to Ban Sha’Carri from Olympics

      WASHINGTON, DC – The following is a statement from Adam Eidinger, co-founder of District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ), on the decision by U.S. Olympic Track & Field (USATF) to ban Sha’Carri Richardson from the Olympics after testing positive for legally consuming cannabis in Oregon after learning of her mother’s death last month just days before winning the women’s 100 meter final at U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon last month.

      “The decision to ban the fastest woman on earth from the 100-meter and 4×100-meter relay is travesty of justice and a disgusting tribute to the failed war on drugs that has done far more to destroy lives for 50 years than even the deadliest wars or pandemic. Shaming Sha’Carri for consuming cannabis in a state where it is legal to do so while she was distraught over getting the shocking news from a reporter of her mother’s death is a despicable act of abuse and selfishness that is way out of touch with the majority of Americans, who support the legalization of cannabis. This decision must be condemned as strongly as possible. For the first time in my life I plan to boycott watching the Olympics. While President Biden, notorious for writing and backing legislation that has contributed exponentially to the incarceration of non-violent cannabis users, hid behind his statement that ‘rules are the rules’ regarding Sha’Carri, he seemed to open the door to re-evaluating those rules when he added, ‘Whether they should remain that way is a different issue.’ However, it’s not enough to question the rules or condemn this deplorable decision. We must have changes immediately.”

      DCMJ calls for these first steps to remedy this and other related injustices and unscientific and irrational policy decisions:

      • USATF reinstating Sha’Carri immediately and allowing her to compete in the 100-meter and 4×100-meter relay
      • Congress joining states all around the country in legalizing cannabis for medical and adult use.
      • President Biden using his regulatory powers to de-schedule cannabis as a federal Schedule I substance in order to launch comprehensive and conclusive scientific research into the medicinal uses of cannabis to treat physical and psychological pain.
      • The immediate release of all Americans incarcerated for the non-violent use of banned substances, beginning with cannabis.
      • An apology to Sha’Carri from USATF, the International Olympic Committee and President Biden for promoting the unscientifically backed and racist ‘war on drugs’ that has led to political demagoguery and the shaming and stigmatizing of good people, who use cannabis, live normal lives, and make positive contributions everyday to quality of life around the world.

      ABOUT DC MARIJUANA JUSTICE Since its founding in 2013, DCMJ has led the nation in creative and high-profile cannabis reform activism. After introducing and passing DC’s Initiative 71 in 2014, which voters legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis, DCMJ organized three large seed giveaways that provided all adults and Congressional staffers the means to grow cannabis for themselves, deployed giant 51-foot inflatable joints outside the Capitol, the White House, the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Times Square in New York City, the 2016 Presidential Debates, Annapolis Statehouse and Boston’s Freedom Rally, as well as distributing over 10,000 joints of District of Columbia homegrown cannabis at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, and attempting to distribute 1,227 joints at the congressional “Joint Session” in 2017, where U.S. Capitol Police unlawfully arrested seven DCMJ activists (All charges were dropped the following day). In 2021, DCMJ conceptualized and launched the “Joints for Jabs” coronavirus vaccination incentive program that was spontaneously adopted around the U.S., including by the State of Washington. Also in 2021, DCMJ was behind The Great Commonwealth Cannabis Seed Share, collecting and distributing about 20,000 seeds on the first day of legal home craft cultivation in Virginia. In 2018, 2019, and 2021, aligned organizations MDMJ, VAMJ, COMJ, and NYMJ were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, and New York. DCMJ demands cannabis be removed from the Controlled Substances Act and all Americans are given the right to grow cannabis in the safety and privacy of their homes.

      Contact: Adam Eidinger, 202-744-2671, [email protected]
      Ken Bazinet, 202-660-2449, [email protected]

      Joints For Jabs

      Joints For Jabs was a HUGE success! THANK YOU!

      On 4/20/2021 over 85 DCMJ volunteers stationed at 30 vaccination sites across the District of Columbia gave away over 8 pounds of DC-grown cannabis rolled up into over 4,200 joints!

      As of 4:20pm on 4/20/2021, we are completely OUT of cannabis!

      On 4/20/21, over 85 @DCMJ2014 volunteers gave out over 4,200 joints at over 35 #Covid19 Vaccination Centers in #All8Wards of Washington, DC!

      Check out the video by @StephenBarber4 and listen to @aeidinger tell the story on how the wildly successful #JointsForJabs came to be!

      — DC Marijuana Justice (@DCMJ2014) April 25, 2021

      From free joints at dispensaries to free bags of weed outside vaccination centers, across the United States cannabis reform advocates are stepping up to organize their own cannabis giveaways to help end the coronavirus pandemic. DC Marijuana Justice believes that cannabis can help heal the nation and strongly believes that you can help do your part in ending the pandemic by getting vaccinated and assisting others in getting vaccinated. DCMJ’s Joints For Jabs will be taking place at vaccination sites across the District of Columbia on Tuesday, April 20.


      Later this year the DC Council will be voting on NEW cannabis reform legislation. We need your help to make it work for EVERYONE. Not just deep-pocketed cannabis businesses, but ALL DC residents!

      We are demanding the cannabis reform legislation embrace true MARIJUANA JUSTICE!

      STOP OVER-POLICING DC! After Initiative 71 became law, the DC police continued to over-police neighborhoods of black, brown, and indigenous people of color (BIPOC). We are calling for an END to this practice. We believe legalization should end discrimination, not more police involvement in our communities. We believe that ALL criminal penalties associated with cannabis should be replaced with civil penalties, like warnings and fines, not arrests and jail.

      SAY NO TO ANY CHANGES TO INITIATIVE 71! Mayor Bowser’s “Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2021” still keeps criminal penalties in place. In fact, it makes some aspects of Initiative 71 illegal! The Mayor wants to criminalize the amount of cannabis you can legally keep at home and make giving away cannabis at demonstrations illegal. Under the Mayor’s proposed legislation, the joint you received at Joints For Jabs would be considered an “unlawful transaction.” Worse, the Mayor’s bill will make it illegal to have more than 10 ounces of cannabis at home, even when one cannabis plant can weigh more than 10X that! Tell the DC Council that any adult should be able to give another adult cannabis for whatever reason. No one cares about how much wine you have at home, so why should cannabis be any different?

      LEGALIZE CASUAL SALES! Have some extra cannabis that you grew and your buddy wants to buy some? You should be allowed to sell up to $599 a year in cannabis without penalties. No one cares if you sell some of your extra veggies from your garden to your neighbor, so why should cannabis be any different? Independent contractors can earn up to $599 a year without paying taxes on their income and we believe this should apply to casual sales of cannabis.

      ALLOW COOPERATIVE GROWS! Some adults cannot grow cannabis in their homes due to provisions on their lease. Other adults who live alone are limited in the number of plants they can grow at home (6 plants total). A cooperative grow would allow consenting adults to legally increase their plant count by allowing adults to grow their plants at someone else’s home.

      DEMAND ON-SITE CONSUMPTION! Smoking not allowed in your building? Where are you supposed to consume your cannabis? In Amsterdam they have coffeeshops that allow on-site consumption. Not everyone likes to drink alcohol, but cannabis cannot be consumed at any DC bar. In DC there is no legal place to consume cannabis except at private residences. In New York, cannabis can be consumed at any place where cigarettes can be smoked, including sidewalks. Why not DC?

      EXPAND FARMERS MARKETS! We can buy locally made beer and liquor at farmers markets, why not locally grown cannabis? There is no good reason why DC cannabis growers should not be able to sell their extra cannabis at DC’s farmers markets. Tell the DC Council that Farmers Markets need to be opened up to local cannabis growers!

      Your input is NEEDED!


      1 Brianne Nadeau [email protected] (202) 724-8181
      2 Brooke Pinto [email protected] (202) 724-8181
      3 Mary Cheh [email protected] (202)-724-8062
      4 Janeese Lewis George [email protected] (202) 724-8052
      5 Kenyan McDuffie [email protected] (202) 724-8028
      6 Charles Allen [email protected] (202) 724-8072
      7 Vincent Gray [email protected] (202) 724-8068
      8 Trayon White, Sr. [email protected] (202) 724-8045
      At-Large Anita Bonds [email protected] (202) 724-8064
      At-Large Elissa Silverman [email protected] (202) 724-7772
      At-Large Robert C. White, Jr. [email protected] (202) 724-8174
      At-Large Christina Henderson [email protected] (202) 724-8105
      Chairman Phil Mendelson [email protected] (202) 724-8032

      Every DC resident is represented by one Ward Councilmember, four At-Large Councilmembers, and the Chairman. You should contact ALL SIX! Not sure which Ward you live in? Click here to find out.

      Normally we would publish the full list of vaccination sites, but in order to prevent crowding, we’ve decided to not list them. We encourage everyone to visit the site they got their first shot at and check to see if there are DCMJ volunteers stationed outside!

      DCMJ Statement on White House Firings

      March 19, 2021

      ADAM EIDINGER (202) 744-2671
      [email protected]
      KEN BAZINET (202) 660-2449
      [email protected]

      ***Statement to the News Media***

      White House Firings for past Cannabis Use are an Outrage

      DCMJ Urges President Biden to Rethink Position on Cannabis Administration is Sending Wrong Message to Americans

      Statement from Adam Eidinger, co-founder of District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ), in response to the White House firing staffers for past cannabis use:

      “We were outraged to learn that the White House is using past cannabis use as a cause for dismissal of staffers. It would be an understatement to call reports of these dismissals arbitrary. We are quite certain that the White House does not fire staffers for use of alcohol, a scientifically proven deadly and harmful substance. We’re confident there is even alcohol stored away in the White House, and not just in the residence. The White House is clearly ignoring that voters in the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis, and that nearby Virginia and Maryland allow for medical use of cannabis. If the White House wants the best and brightest working there on behalf of the American people, it needs to tolerate all viewpoints and lifestyle choices, including the legal use of cannabis.

      By taking these punitive actions, the White House is informally asking current and future applicants to lie. Lies are the enemy of democracy. If applicants know that being honest about past or current lawful cannabis use will prevent them from working at the White House, then they have no recourse but to lie about their current or past cannabis use. This is bad public policy and President Biden should understand that the destructive and failed War on Drugs does nothing but hurt the American people, especially people of color.

      We expected that President Biden would evolve from this twisted 20th century view of cannabis use and adopt the positions that an overwhelming majority of Americans have embraced. From ending the use of cannabis laws in the abhorrent practice of racial profiling, to clearing the way for conclusive research into all the medical applications for cannabis, to keeping the government from intruding further into private lives, the majority of Americans want an end now to cannabis prohibition.

      We want to see this administration succeed in righting many wrongs. We’ve even tried to be helpful. Our upcoming ‘Joints For Jabs’ cannabis giveaway is in direct response to the administration’s ‘Go Big’ effort to get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19. We are quite confident the message behind ‘Joints for Jabs’ is reaching a significant portion of supporters and non-supporters of the president.

      This White House needs to think about finding a new place for itself in the legalization movement and avoid an unnecessary confrontation with a key bloc in the Democrats’ political base. With these firings, the administration is sending out a dangerous message in this era of cannabis enlightenment that is going to force a meaningful reaction by those threatened by the actions of this White House.

      We call upon President Biden to use his executive power to de-schedule cannabis immediately. There are millions of Americans living in states with legal cannabis that should not be excluded from working in the White House, or a job of any kind in public service. If you need advice on how to truly embrace ‘Marijuana Justice,’ we urge you to consult your vice president, who as a senator introduced the Marijuana Justice Act.”


      Since its founding in 2013, DCMJ has led the nation in creative and high-profile cannabis reform activism. After introducing and passing DC’s Initiative 71 in 2014, which voters legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis, DCMJ organized three large seed giveaways that provided all adults & Congressional staffers the means to grow cannabis for themselves, deployed giant 51’ inflatable joints outside the Capitol, the White House, the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Times Square in New York City, the 2016 Presidential Debates, Annapolis Statehouse and Boston’s Freedom Rally, as well as distributing over 10,000 joints of District of Columbia homegrown cannabis at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, and attempting to distribute 1,227 joints at the congressional “Joint Session” in 2017, where U.S. Capitol Police unlawfully arrested seven DCMJ activists (All charges were dropped the following day). DCMJ will distribute 5,000 joints at vaccination sites across the District of Columbia on April 20, 2021 in conjunction with its upcoming “Joints For Jabs” cannabis giveaway. In 2018, 2019, and 2021, aligned organizations MDMJ, VAMJ , COMJ, and NYMJ were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, and New York. DCMJ demands cannabis be removed from the Controlled Substances Act and all Americans are given the right to grow cannabis in the safety and privacy of their homes.

      Legislative Memo Concerning DC’s Proposed Tax & Regulate Legislation

      Thank you for agreeing to have your staff meet with us concerning the “Comprehensive Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Act of 2021.” We have waited for 6 years to address many of the important issues contained in this legislation and during that time we’ve had the opportunity to solicit feedback from DC’s cannabis users, growers, and their families. While we are generally supportive of this important piece of legislation, we do have some concerns that we will be sharing with your staff. Overall, we do not want any of the freedoms enshrined in Initiative 71 to be reduced or altered in significant or possibly detrimental ways, and more importantly, we urge the DC Council to support the existing cottage industry in the District of Columbia before allowing multi-state operators, with billions of capital, to make further inroads.

      1. While not contained in this legislation, the Mayor’s “Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2021” contains a provision we find reprehensible. We feel it is important to start with this problematic component of the Mayor’s legislation before addressing the Council’s legislation in order for it not to be added at a later date. Namely, the provision that allows adults to possess no more than 10 ounces of cannabis at home. This provision is not acceptable and we are thankful that the Council’s legislation does not contain this onerous section. An adult who grows cannabis at home could violate this provision with one plant and we fear that its potential inclusion would result in more home raids and arrests. It shows that the Mayor’s legislation was written without serious consultation with any member of DC’s cannabis community because if only one DC resident homegrower had been given a chance to comment they would have said “This is not workable,” and we believe it is in the best interest to make this legislation work for everyone.

      Initiative 71 permits adults to keep all of the cannabis they have grown at home and we are not aware of any safety issues that have arisen from this home cultivation provision, but we do believe a lack of access to the marketplace is a problem. A better gauge is to compare the limits adults currently have when it comes to the possession of beer, wine, and liquor at home. Currently we are not aware of limits that DC-based home brewers might have with respect to the amount beer they can produce for personal consumption without fear of their home being raided. Why should cannabis growers be any different?

      2. We are suggesting that the Council legalize “casual sales.” If a DC resident was to end up with more cannabis than they need for personal use, we need to offer them a legal outlet to sell their extra home grown cannabis to other adults as this is a direct way to provide equity for the cannabis community that has been historically oppressed. A DC resident homegrower will pay for electricity, water, soil, rent, and nutrients to grow a plant and under Initiative 71 they can give that cannabis away without remuneration (payment for goods or services). But why should we criminalize a home grower selling some of their extra cannabis to their neighbor? We don’t care if a neighbor sells their extra tomatoes to a neighbor, or extra bottles of home made wine so why not cannabis? We don’t care if a home brewer sells their neighbor a 6-pack of their beer either. These types of casual sales are of no concern to police, so why should they be a concern when it comes to small amounts of cannabis?

      We are aware that some growers are selling their extra cannabis for supplemental income. With only 12 plants, a home grower cannot make this into a fully sustaining business. But some do sell their extra cannabis to pay for rent, electricity, water, soil, and nutrients that went into the production of the cannabis. We feel casual sales should not remain criminalized as there is no compelling public interest to do so if a ultra-micro license is created. How much casual sales one can make before they need to collect sales tax and require a license?

      We suggest $599 in “casual sales” to be the threshold for sales tax. At $600 the grower is really an independent contractor in the cottage industry, so like a normal small business they are still required to report income and pay taxes on perhaps up to $30,000 in sales or perhaps even more. We feel this is a relatively small amount of “casual sales” that would allow the home grower to recoup their expenses and generate supplemental income that could make the difference for someone living in poverty or not, or being able to make ever higher property tax payments on a family home in a gentrifying area.

      3. We believe there needs to be more licenses offered and they have a lower price tag. The barrier to entry for many adults will be the cost to obtain the license. The microbusiness license permits a grower to utilize 1,500 square feet of space. We feel this “micro” license should be considered “small” and what we consider an “ultra-micro” should be added in its place as the “microbusiness” license. Thus there would be a “small business” license and a “microbusiness” license be offered. The revised “microbusiness” license should be for home growers to be able to sell more than $600 of cannabis and grow more plants at home. The proposed “microbusiness” license requires the licensee to rent a properly zoned space for the cultivation of cannabis to comply with the licensee requirements. We anticipate this type of zoned space to become more expensive as more licenses become available. This will cause the overhead cost to produce the cannabis to increase and lower and possibly eliminate the profit margins of these “micro” businesses. Thus it’s important that the existing cottage industry remains within the homes of DC growers. The only difference between the current system of home cultivation and a true “microbusiness” licensee is the allowance to grow more plants and sell small amounts directly to consumers through casual sales. We believe the new “microbusiness” license should be $100 and allow growers to grow 30 plants, which is a little more than two times the number of plants that are permitted under Initiative 71. While the “small business” license should be $500 and allow growers to utilize up to 1,500 square feet of space and grow an unlimited amount of cannabis and pay taxes on everything above $600 in sales. The new “microbusiness” licensees would not be required to sell their small amounts of cannabis to distributors, but the “small business” licensees would be required to do so. Both the “micro” and “small” business licensees should have access to the farmers markets.

      4. The expansion of licenses should mirror those which are offered for businesses who sell alcohol. For example, there are licenses to allow bed & breakfasts to serve alcohol to their guests, so why not a similar $650 license for cannabis establishments? If alcohol can be sold at farmers markets, then why not allow “small business” or “microbusiness” licensees to sell their cannabis at farmers markets as well? There are so many examples of licenses for alcohol that are currently available, it doesn’t make sense to limit the number of licenses available for cannabis businesses to so few in number and type. Nearly all the existing alcohol licenses address what this legislation fails to address: the need for on-site consumption licenses.

      There are thousands of adults who are prohibited from consuming cannabis in their homes and this legislation does not address this important need. DCMJ worked with Congresswoman Norton in 2018 to help introduce the “Sondra Battle Cannabis Fair Use Act,” which would permit adults to consume cannabis in public housing in states where medical and adult-use cannabis has been legalized. While this legislation has been incorporated into the MORE Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives last December, it shows the need for adults to have a safe place to consume cannabis outside of their homes. We believe there needs to be no less than 5 of these licenses per ward. An adult should not be required to travel across town to be able to legally consume their cannabis outside their home.

      Unless the Council of District of Columbia amends the decriminalization of cannabis statute, which prohibits the use of cannabis in public spaces, this legislation is incomplete. Like cannabis, tobacco requires adults to be 21 years of age to purchase or consume. Tobacco is not allowed to be smoked in public housing either, but there is space afforded to smokers at public housing. We believe that adults should be able to consume cannabis at any place an adult can consume tobacco. This parity will make it easier to enforce the law. Right now there are places in DC where tobacco can be consumed indoors and we believe there should be a license available for cannabis as well. New York’s recent cannabis reform legislation permits cannabis to be consumed at any place tobacco is permitted, including sidewalks, but not in public parks.

      5. With a large segment of the population unable to legally grow cannabis at home, there needs to be a license for cooperative growing sites. We believe this would be a great use of the “small business” or “microbusiness” license. For example, if 10 adults pooled their resources they could rent a space where they could each have 150 square feet grow their own cannabis for non-commercial use. There is an intrinsic difference between these cooperative growing licenses that are non-commercial and those that are commercial and this legislation needs to make a distinction between the two. For example, if a friend who lives alone has an extra room at their house, I could grow my 6 plants there alongside their 6 plants under a cooperative grow license. Under Initiative 71, the person who lives alone and is growing these 12 plants would be breaking the law, but if there was a means for them to obtain a cooperative grow license they would be within the scope of the law. This license would allow the homeowner of the cooperative to charge a small fee for electricity and help them supplement their income by providing a small space in their homes. There are already growers in DC who do this in violation of the law and it shows the need for another type of license “microbusiness” license.

      6. Finally, both this legislation and Mayor’s proposed legislation contain a prohibition on giving away cannabis to those engaged in advocacy. This prohibition is included in a section that addresses some of the existing ways people currently sell cannabis. Namely, buy this thing and get this cannabis for free or join this group and get cannabis for free. But come to this demonstration and get cannabis for free is entirely different. DCMJ has lead numerous advocacy-related demonstrations where cannabis was used as means to further the goals of reforming cannabis laws. For example, next month we plan on giving away joints outside of vaccination centers. Dubbed “Joints For Jabs,” this form of advocacy encourages adults to get vaccinated and to voluntarily call their elected officials to pass this law. At no point is there any money being requested in order to receive the cannabis. Since this form of advocacy carries no inherent value other than promoting reform, the portion dealing with advocacy must be removed. There is no sales component with respect to free speech activities and we question the constitutionality of this prohibition. If there is any money exchanged in relation to the advocacy, then we agree that this section would constitute an illegal sale, but there needs to be better clarity. If this section is strictly about the exchange of money for anything, including advocacy, for cannabis, then its an illegal sale. But if we are to permit casual sales, then there needs to be a limit on what constitutes an illegal sale. In 2017, we gave away over 10,000 joints at Donald Trump’s inauguration in order to advocate that cannabis reform is a non-partisan issue. There was no money that exchanged hands, just free joints containing cannabis grown at home by DC residents given to adults for advocating for the change of unjust laws. This type of advocacy is not a backdoor to allowing illicit cannabis sales and must be removed to protect free speech rights.
      We look forward to working with you on this important legislation. We understand the Harris Rider remains in effect and this legislation will not receive a final vote until later this year. Therefore, we believe there is ample time to expand this legislation and make into something that reflects the values and needs of the cannabis community in the District of Columbia.

      Adam Eidinger, Proposer of Initiative 71, Co-Founder of DC Marijuana Justice
      Nikolas Schiller, Co-Founder of DC Marijuana Justice

      “Joints For Jabs” Press Release

      January 11, 2021

      ADAM EIDINGER (202)744-2671
      [email protected]

      Large crowd at marijuana seed share event in Henrico shifts to text-to-pickup because of demand

      RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A CBD story in Henrico County planned to give away marijuana seeds today as a new Virginia law went into effect legalizing growing the plants at home. But after a large turnout this morning hours before the event was slated to begin, the store’s owner had to make changes to prevent the event from shutting down.

      Jennifer Elliot, the owner of Your CBD Store in The Shops at Wellesley, said confusion about the event’s start time led to a line wrapping around the building at 10 a.m. After trying to re-route the line in another direction, she said that they decided to send people to their cars and text them when it was time to pick up their seeds.

      According to Virginia Marijuana Justice, the group that organized and promoted the Great Commonwealth Cannabis Seed Share that included Your CBD Store, other businesses in the shopping center called Henrico Police because the line was preventing access to their businesses.

      Marijuana seed share event in Henrico County (Photo: Alex Thorson)

      Elliot said that it was important to her to keep the event alive instead of shutting down, so she converted to using text messages for pickup. People waited in their cars and received a text message when it was their turn to pick up marijuana seeds.

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      A Virginian’s guide to legally grow marijuana at …

      “Some of the businesses here were being blocked, I think the line was blocking the doorway,” Elliot said. “The parking lot was crazy so I think their customers weren’t able to park.”

      Nearby business owners called Henrico Police about the event and officers did arrive. Elliot says she doesn’t think they were trying to shut it down but wanted to keep things controlled.

      At 2 p.m. there were about 75 people visible in the area and other people waiting in their cars. The estimated time to pick up seeds was two hours. The event was planned to last until 6 p.m., but they ran out of seeds at 2:45 p.m.

      Dozens of people hoping for seeds left empty handed.

      Alyssa Coleman drove to the event from Powhatan and was texted around 3 p.m. that it was her turn but when she got to the door the seeds had run out. She says she wants to grow it herself in order to follow the law and use marijuana legally.

      “We’re just trying to follow the rules, we’ve been sitting in our car doing everything they told us to do,” Coleman said. “We just want to smoke our marijuana.”

      Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

      Seed giveaway launches Virginia legalization

      Marijuana legalization will open with a bhang – a free seed giveaway – in at least one state. Virginia Marijuana Justice (VAMJ) will mark the first day of cannabis legalization with a free cannabis seed giveaway at sites around the state while calling attention to legalized home cultivation and the need to patch some significant holes in the new law.

      Working with sister organizations District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) and Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ), VAMJ has set a goal to collect 10,000 donated seeds from cannabis growers and supporters and intends to distribute them to a new crop of legal home growers at locations within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

      Sites include outside CBD Store-Richmond (3442 Lauderdale Drive, Henrico, VA); near Rosslyn Metro (1850 N. Moore St., Arlington) and a private property in Charlottesville.

      No better way to celebrate than planting freedom

      “We want to mark this historic day by saying ’let us grow’ now that home cultivation of cannabis is legal in Virginia,” said Nat Copes, a VAMJ volunteer from Alexandria. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the occasion than by having VAMJ volunteers hand out free high-quality seeds to Virginians.”

      Here is a link to a 27-second video release (for use at will) of volunteers packaging seeds for the giveaway:

      Considered in the national cannabis community to be the leading consumer advocate for home cultivation and innovative social equity provisions, DCMJ pioneered the seed share in the District of Columbia after cannabis became legal in 2015. DCMJ led the effort to pass Initiative 71 that legalized cannabis in the nation’s capital in 2014. Most recently, DCMJ and sister organization New York Marijuana Justice (NYMJ) launched the COVID-19 vaccination incentive program “Joints for Jabs,” giving away more than 8,000 joints in Washington, D.C. and New York City to adults who showed proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Joints for Jabs spin offs continue to sprout independently around the U.S., including in Maryland, Michigan, Arizona, and Washington State, which became the first government body to embrace the idea.

      Cannabis giveaways are ‘pretty special’

      “We have seen first-hand the smiles and gratitude that a free seed giveaway brings to first-time growers, and it’s pretty special,” said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ. “However, we also know from our experience that so many people do not realize that they can grow cannabis at home legally. Some people didn’t know about the new law, as it pertains to home cultivation, until our volunteers handed them a free packet of seeds. So there is a significant educational component to our giveaways.”

      While the pride and experience of legally growing and harvesting a productive plant under one’s own supervision speaks for itself, the other reality is that home cultivation mitigates the problem of the high price of over-the-counter cannabis, especially for patients, since medical marijuana is not covered by private insurers or Medicare, Medicaid or Veterans Administration benefits. Access to dispensaries is a huge problem in general, with only four in operation throughout the state.

      “Craft cultivation improves patient outcomes and home cultivation helps to reduce the scope and control exerted upon society by criminal organizations, while reversing the carnage left behind from prohibition,” said Michael Krawitz, co-founder of VAMJ and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. “Veterans have been fighting in Virginia for decades to see this day when we are finally free to grow cannabis in the privacy and safety of our own homes. Among other medical uses, it’s well known that for many veterans, cannabis can help with pain and the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”

      However, under the new Virginia law, a person can only possess an ounce of cannabis and only grow four plants at home, both of which are limits that fall short of the medical needs of many cannabis patients. VAMJ is urging lawmakers to consider raising the plant count limit to six plants for one adult and up to 12 plants if more than one adult is living at home. The 6/12 plant limits are in line with most states that have legalized home cultivation, including neighboring Washington, DC.

      “We will continue to make our message clear that we want to be free to grow an amount of cannabis to actually meet our needs, and for punitive penalties to be eliminated,” Krawitz said. “It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t start out of the gate with more reasonable limits, however, it is a good starting point. Too many people will still wind up in the illicit market to fill the void created by these unrealistic plant and possession limits.”

      In general, Virginia’s new cannabis law is extremely confusing, as can be expected from a 280-page document written in legal language that even some lawyers have trouble understanding. However, a lot can be done by the next legislative session to remove some penalties and fines and lessen consequences for the nonviolent “crime” of cannabis possession. VAMJ will be rolling out proposed amendments to the law as we get closer to the 2022 legislative session.

      Significant victory for social justice

      But on the eve of taking the giant step toward full and fair legalization, VAMJ activists acknowledge there is a significant victory to celebrate July 1.

      “Virginians came together and worked hard to earn the distinction of blazing the trail in the South for adult-use legalization, including crucial social equity and home cultivation provisions,” said Sonia Ballinger, a co-founder of VAMJ from Sterling. “There are obvious measures that were taken to ensure social justice components were added to the law. Many people made the case face-to-face in early 2020 and then by working the phones and video streams when coronavirus shut-downs began. It’s been gratifying to see so much progress directly related to VAMJ’s community activism, advocacy and willingness to partner up with other groups in Virginia.”

      VAMJ is dedicated to fighting for cannabis consumers, cultivators, workers, patients, and their families. VAMJ began lobbying in Virginia in 2019 to support passage of adult-use cannabis laws in the Commonwealth. Since then, VAMJ has been active in Richmond and across the state, educating the public and advocating for systemic changes in the criminal justice system.

      VAMJ backs full legalization, including the right to cultivate cannabis in the privacy and comfort of our homes, as well as reforming and filling harmful or outdated holes within the criminal justice system. The group was launched during the statewide elections in 2019, playing a pivotal role in key races in the Tidewater Region by highlighting the scourge of opioid addiction in Virginia and calling attention to cannabis as a non-addictive alternative plant medicine.

      VAMJ is a sister organization of District of Columbia Marijuana Justice (DCMJ), Colorado Marijuana Justice (COMJ), Maryland Marijuana Justice (MDMJ), and New York Marijuana Justice (NYMJ).

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