Yesterday, on April 5, 2016, on its first reading, the Council of the District of Columbia voted in favor of permanently banning public marijuana consumption, meaning marijuana consumption anywhere outside of a private residence would be illegal. It is legal for adults to possess and use up to two ounces of marijuana in the District. For this first reading, the Council voted 7-6 in favor of B21-0107, which would make the “social use ban” permanent.
“It’s a shame that the council didn’t allow the task force, which they created, to do its job. At the hearing last year, council members heard how the ban hurts people who live in public housing or apartments where they cannot use marijuana or don’t wish to consume it at home in front of their children,” said Kate M. Bell, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a release.
“We hope that D.C.’s newly granted budget autonomy will allow the council to reverse this decision and move toward sensible marijuana policies once congressional riders are removed. But we are very disappointed that the council voted to permanently impose this unnecessary ban on the freedoms that the vast majority of the voters support,” Bell added.