Posts Tagged “Marijuana”
We be burnin’
Last Wednesday, District mayor Vincent Gray publicly expressed support for a bill in the D.C. Council that would decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana. Under the proposed legislation, the consequences for being caught with less than an ounce of weed would be reduced to a $100 fine, possible civil charges, and, of course, handing over the goods.
These punishments contrast sharply with the ones currently in place: a $1000 fine and possibly six months of jail time. The bill’s author and the office of the attorney general stated that they would agree to the tiny punishment of a $25 fine for breaking the new law, according to the Post.
The bill has the support of 10 of the 13 members of the D.C. Council members and is slated to be signed into law soon. Debate over complete legalization of marijuana in the District, however, continues to rage. To many, a $25 fine is $25 too much.
Unrest at Yardfest
On Friday, Howard University’s annual homecoming event Yardfest was temporarily shut down due to unruly crowds and trampling. Eight people were reported injured, including two members of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Members of the crowd were upset by the university’s decision to charge a $5 fee for what historically had been a free event and attempted to rush into the quadrangle where rapper Big Sean (of “Dance A$$” fame) was performing. After about an hour delay, wherein police corralled concert attendees, the show resumed without further disruption.
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With legal weed now a reality in Colorado and Washington, far away from meddling narcs, marijuana advocates are eyeing legalization for a District in the feds’ backyard.
Last Friday, Adam Eidinger, the co-owner of Capital Hemp and leader of DCMJ 2014, released the draft text of a long-anticipated ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana outright in the District of Columbia. The proposal would allow people to buy up to 2 ounces of bud and permit people to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use.
While Eidinger initially sought to submit a ballot initiative that would merely decriminalize marijuana, he withdrew that proposal in September. Instead, he hopes his ballot initiative will either serve to improve the decriminalization bill already introduced to the D.C. Council or serve as an alternative if the bill fails.
A poll released in April showed that 75 percent of D.C. residents favor the decriminalization of marijuana. A solid 63 percent said they would vote for enacting legalization in the District.
Eidinger worries that Councilmember Tommy Wells‘s (D-Ward 6) decriminalization bill will draw support away from his measure. If that happens, he says, he’ll withdraw the measure and work to build support among D.C. voters. “I won’t do it if it’s under 60 percent, you can mark my words,” Eidinger told DCist. “If we’re at 59 percent in our next poll of D.C. voters for legalization, if we’re losing support for legalization because of Wells’ efforts, then we won’t do it.”
Legalization would do more than simple decriminalization to stem drug violence and reduce incarceration rates, which persistently show a racial bias.
Georgetown students, here’s the link to register to vote in D.C. You’ll need it come next year.
Photo: Guney Cuceloglu via Flickr
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Vox will soon be able to rest easier knowing that light enjoyment of some greenery won’t be met with a jail sentence.
At least, hopefully. Under a bill which D.C. Council members Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) plan to introduce later today, the penalty for marijuana possession under one ounce will be reduced to a civil penalty punishable by a $100 fine. Marijuana possession in the district is currently a misdemeanor offense that can carry a $1000 fine and six months of jail time.
A poll released in April showed that a whopping 75 percent of D.C. residents favor the decriminalization of marijuana. Not only that, but a solid 63 percent majority said they would vote for enacting a Colorado-esque legislation scheme in the District.
Some groups favoring decriminalization wanted, instead, to push for a ballot initiative in 2014, but Barry and Wells would rather have the Council take the lead. While several other council members support decriminalization, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson remains skeptical.
“I don’t think it’s the right time,” Mendelson told the Washington Post. “I don’t think decriminalization of marijuana will go over easily with Congress.” Congress, of course, has the right to block any measure of the D.C. Council.
For his part, Mayor Vince Gray said that D.C. should fully implement its medical marijuana program before proceeding to address decriminalization. Other groups have voiced support for ballot measure to enact full-on legalization, which could come as early as 2014.
Decriminalization would not only address the racial disparities in arrest rates for possession which plague the District, it would draw law enforcement resources away from preventing people from smoking a plant and, Vox hopes, toward preventing real crime.
Photo: Stephen Stills via Flickr
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Georgetown doesn’t have a huge drug scene, but many students smoke pot recreationally. Students often find it difficult to find dealers, though, and it’s even harder to find good places to smoke. Most students end up smoking in their dorm rooms or apartments, which is generally fine, though every once in a while people do get caught. A persistent rumor holds that the University’s smoke detectors are actually heat detectors and, therefore, won’t go off due to cannabis fumes. Proceed at your own risk.
The general rule is that RAs and DPS officers aren’t looking to bust anyone, so don’t give them a reason to. Make sure there aren’t any “suspicious odors” to investigate and you should be fine. As for smoking outside, Georgetown is located in an urban area, so there aren’t many options. Vox can’t tell you where to smoke, but check out these fine places to enjoy nature instead.
According to Vox‘s research, a gram costs about $20, which seems about an average price, and a eighth runs about $60. (That’s probably not accurate. Commenters, feel free to chime in.) Most of the people who deal to students are small-time and many are students themselves. The administration takes drug violations seriously, and, as a result, many students have trouble finding dealers.
Some schools, apparently, have parties where students will serve weed along with alcohol. Nothing like that happens at Georgetown. Most of the time, people smoke in small groups with their friends.
Hard drugs aren’t prevalent at Georgetown. Cocaine takes a long second place to weed in popularity. People use other drugs like molly and LSD, but you have to know someone to get it. Usually, students will take those sorts of party drugs right before going to clubs. Study drugs are somewhat popular as well, though, again, access is limited.
Also, for some reason, Georgetown always gets associated with meth, though usually it’s actually DMT or The Hoya jumping to conclusions.
Vox‘s disclaimer yesterday applies here: This preview is intended to provide a realistic picture of undergraduate drug culture at Georgetown University. Most of the information here is common knowledge and does not come from personal experience. Vox doesn’t endorse breaking any laws.
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With recreational weed laws now reality in Colorado and Washington, along with the first commercial hemp crop being planted in 60 years, skies seem clear for marijuana advocates—or perhaps happily hazy. In the District, however, an ACLU report suggests that racial bias continues to mar increasing possession arrests.
Using FBI and U.S. Census data, the report examined arrests for marijuana possession across America. D.C. arrests ballooned over 60 percent from 2001 to 2010. On a nationwide average, a black individual is 3.37 times more likely than a white individual to be arrested for possession. In the District, nine out of 10 arrests were black, the second largest disparity in the nation. Baltimore took first. The report also indicates this phenomenon occurs in virtually everywhere in the U.S., as 96 percent of counties (with over 30,000 residents and a 2 percent black population) have higher possession arrest rates for black individuals.
These statistics are concerning since rates of marijuana use are near equal for blacks and whites. Furthermore, these findings raise questions on police use of racial profiling.
The crackdown on Mary Jane is puzzlingly absent from police chief reports countrywide. The cause may arise from certain arrest strategies. The “stop-and-frisk” is a New York creation, wherein an officer may search an individual they deem suspicious of criminal activity.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier refuted that her force consciously targeted marijuana possession arrests. Another D.C. police source remarked that black arrests constituted 85 percent of aggregate arrests in 2012, down from 91 percent in 2010.
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Ahead of Vox‘s favorite day to enjoy nature, D.C. gives us another reason to be glad Georgetown is located in such a liberal city.
A new poll released today by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project found that 63 percent of residents supported enacting Colorado-esque legalization schemes here in the District. A further 78 percent of residents said that they would like to expand D.C.’s medical marijuana law so that doctors could prescribe cannabis to patients for any condition whatsoever. (The current law has quite restrictive limits on what conditions doctors may prescribe marijuana for.)
67 percent would like to see fewer police resources devoted to catching people who smoke weed. More than 4,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in D.C. last year.
Mike Debonis over at the Post notes that, three years ago, the District was fairly evenly split when it came to the issue: 46 percent in favor to 48 in opposed. D.C. is likely following national trends which now show that a majority, or a near-majority, of Americans support the legalization of marijuana.
This most recent poll, however, has people talking about the possibility of a 2014 ballot initiative either decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana in the District of Columbia. Mason Tvert, the Marijuana Policy Project’s director of communications, told HuffPost D.C. that advocates of legalizing marijunana “will be talking to community leaders and elected officials about various options for adopting a more sensible marijuana policy in D.C., including the possibility of a decriminalization ballot initiative campaign as early as 2014.”
Who knows? If a measure does get sent to the ballot box, we might finally see droves of Georgetown students registering to vote in D.C.
Photo: Zervas via Flickr
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Every year, Vox tackles the various vices many students engage in during their college years: drinking, drugs, sex and smoking. As a disclaimer, Vox isn’t advocating underage drinking or the use of illegal drugs, and most of this information comes from outside sources, not firsthand experience.
Despite what some tour guides reassured your parents, drinking is a sizeable part of social life at Georgetown for many people. If you look for a party on the weekend, you will always find one.
During New Student Orientation, many freshmen will wander the neighborhood in packs listening for noise that might signal a party. We advise freshmen who find parties to avoid inviting their entire floor or drinking everything as soon as they can.
If you’re over 21 (or have an ID that says you are) and prefer bars, here are some of the more popular nearby options:
- Chadwicks (3205 K Street): Good happy hours and champagne brunches.
- Epicurean (On campus, under Darnall): Offers karaoke, and is usually occupied with doctors from the hospital.
- Old Glory (3139 M Street): Strong drinks, good barbecue; the covered back porch with a bar makes it convenient for smokers.
- Rhino (3295 M Street): Sketchy, but good wings and a good chance of spotting Real World cast members or Kobe Bryant.
- Rugby (1065 Wisconsin Ave): As part of a Ralph Lauren store: very, very preppy.
- Third Edition (1218 Wisconsin Ave): Relatively cheap, lots of dancing; famous for having its exterior used in St. Elmo’s Fire.
- Tombs (1226 36th Street): The closest bar to campus and filled with students, but also the strictest with IDs.
How strict a given bar is with accepting fake IDs varies from bouncer to bouncer. In the past, fake ids have been confiscated at Third Edition, so be wary. Generally, Vox would discourage you from trying your fake at Third Edition or Tombs.
If you’re looking to buy your own alcohol, the best bets are Towne (1326 Wisconsin Avenue), Wagner’s (1717 Wisconsin Avenue) and Dixie (3429 M Street). Vox recommends you get to know the employees are Dixie–they’re a friendly and often inebriated sort. Wisey’s also sells beer and wine.
Booey’s is a great alternative to overpaying for drinks at a bar. Although its only open until midnight, the pitchers are cheaper than most places in Georgetown.
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About a week ago, some high school sophomore and Hoya hopeful took to Yahoo! answers to ask the Internet about his/her chances of getting into Georgetown. The kid asked for high school GPAs and SAT scores, and one of his two respondents gave him a legitimate, thought-out answer. But this commenter doesn’t even go to Georgetown. The post’s other respondent, identified only as “George,” gave Georgetown its best endorsement since the Athletics Department bought ad space on Justin Bieber’s forehead.
Dude, I attend Georgetown University, and all I did in high school was smoke pot. Don’t strees yourself too much….
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At this morning’s preliminary hearing, charges were dropped without prejudice against Howard Arenstein and Orly Katz, the married pair of journalists caught growing marijuana in Burleith.
According to Washington City Paper, the charges were dropped without prejudice at this morning’s preliminary hearing because prosecutors could not locate their only witness. The charge—possession with intent to sell—may be reinstated after prosecutors track down the witness.
Arenstein, a CBS Radio News correspondent, and Katz were arrested in October after a neighbor’s tip led to the discovery of 11 fully-mature marijuana plants in the backyard of their Burleith home. A single mature plant can produce up to a pound of marijuana. Although the charges implied drug dealing, a source close to the case told City Paper last month that the stash was likely used for medicinal purposes, not sold.
h/t Washington City Paper
Photo: Juliana Brint
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Think only students got busted for marijuana in Georgetown?
Burleith resident Howard Arenstein, a CBS Radio News correspondent and Bob Dylan look-alike, and his wife Orly Azoulay, a Washington correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth, were arrested on Saturday for possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
The couple, who live on the 3500 block of T Street, were growing the cannabis plants in their backyard. After Arenstein allegedly bragged about the plans, a neighbor filed a complaint with the Metropolitan Police Department’s vice unit. A search of the house unearthed 11 mature, eight-foot tall plants—which can each produce a pound of marijuana—as well as prepackaged, two-ounce bags inside the house.
According to CBS News, Arenstein has covered the 2000 presidential election, September 11th attacks, the War in Iraq, and the D.C. sniper shootings during his time as a news correspondent and CBS Radio Bureau Manager.
If convicted, Arenstein and Azoulay could face up to a year in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Photo: Juliana Brint
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