D.C. Smells Like Marijuana Residents Don’t Care

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  D.C. Smells Like Marijuana Residents Don’t Care

Posted by CN Staff on November 20, 2015 at 11:43:43 PT
By Perry Stein 
Source: Washington Post 

Washington, D.C. -- The smell near the Columbia Heights Metro station Wednesday night was unmistakable. A lit joint in hand, Tony Lee stood outside a residence talking with friends as the typical evening bustle passed them by, no one paying the group of men any special attention.“The community I’m in, everyone engages in smoking,” said Lee, a 34-year-old District resident who runs his own small construction firm. Plus, he said, if he’s not smoking, he smells the remnants of other people getting high throughout the city on a daily basis anyway.
“I’ve grown accustom to it,” he said.This cavalier attitude toward marijuana — and the distinctive waft that accompanies it — seems to be the new norm in D.C in the year since the city voted to legalize possession of small amounts of pot.According to a new Washington Post poll, 57 percent of District residents say they smell marijuana at least once a month. And of these residents, 45 percent say the once-illicit scent doesn’t bother them at all, and 17 percent say it doesn’t bother them “too much.” Fewer than 4 in 10 respondents say they are irked at least some by the smell.This prevalent and very public perfume may be a new feature of the nation’s capital, but these statistics are just building on residents’ long support of laxer marijuana laws.In November 2014, 70 percent of District residents voted in favor of Initiative 71 — a ballot initiative that legalized the growing and possession of marijuana. Initiative 71 went into effect in February, and since then, support for the law hasn’t lost any steam.Sixty-nine percent of residents still support the law, according to the poll. The numbers most notably break down along generational lines: Only 41 percent of residents 65 and older support marijuana legalization, but the number jumps to 64 percent among 40-64 year-olds and 82 percent among those younger than 40.There was also a gap between the rate at which black and white residents support the new law. The poll found that 79 percent of white people were still in favor of the law, and 60 percent of black people were in favor of it. But, while lagging behind white residents, support among black D.C. residents has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2010, a Post poll found that just 37 percent were in favor of legalization.This persistent support for the law is similar to what played out in Colorado, where 55 percent of voters legalized marijuana in 2012. Since then, support for the law has remained steady there, according to Quinnipiac University polls.“It continues to be a hot-button issue for the under 40 voter group, and any politician that discounts the influence of this generation in the future won’t be in politics very long,” said Adam Eidinger, the activist who helped lead the political fight to pass Initiative 71 and owns a marijuana paraphernalia store in Adams Morgan. “No one in the local government can take credit for this issue, the only reason why this moved is because the people spoke out.”Support is relatively even across all wards, but in Wards 1, 7 and 8, residents report smelling marijuana more often. In Ward 1 — including U Street NW, Adams Morgan and parts of Columbia Heights — a whopping 70 percent of residents say they smell it once a month or more. That dips to 62 percent in wards 7 and 8, but frequency stands out east of the river: Thirty-two percent say they smell marijuana “every day.” That compares to wards 2 and 3, where only 8 percent smell weed daily.“People aren’t as discreet as they were before it was legal,” said Wuan Smith, a 21-year-old who says he smokes on a regular basis in his Ward 8 Congress Heights apartment, and smells marijuana smoke from others in his neighborhood just as frequently.Smoking in a private home in D.C. is legal under Initiative 71. The law says people can possesses up to two ounces of marijuana, grow plants in their homes and consume it in private —noncommercial — places.When activists pushed for marijuana to first be decriminalized in July 2014, then later legalized, they framed it as a civil rights issue, citing statistics showing that nine out of 10 people arrested in the District between 2000 and 2010 were black, even though blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates.In the first year since the laws have been effect, arrests have predictably plummeted. In 2013, before marijuana was decriminalized or legalized, the police in D.C. arrested 1,215 people for pot possession.So far this year, all D.C.-based police agencies — including federal agencies — have arrested only seven people, according to statistics from the Metropolitan Police Department.“I don’t find [the smells] super offensive,” said Lena Amick, a 24-year-old Columbia Heights resident who says she doesn’t smoke, but voted in favor of Initiative 71 because of the unequal arrest rates. “People can choose to do what they want to do.”Possession of marijuana is legal, but selling it is still prohibited under the law. Because D.C. is not a state, Congress has the power to meddle with the city’s laws. Republican members of Congress tried to prevent Initiative 71 from becoming law but ultimately just blocked the city’s ability to pass laws regulating sales of the drug.According to the Post poll, 74 percent of residents think the city should be allowed to regulate and tax the sale of marijuana. Even many older residents who oppose marijuana come on board for giving D.C. the authority to regulate marijuana: Sixty-six percent support this, compared with 41 percent who support legalization in general.“I didn’t vote [to legalize marijuana] because they didn’t have all the ducks in a row. You have street vendors still, you are still promoting illegal sales,” said John, 64, a retired electrician who didn’t want to provide his last name because of the sensitivity of the issue. He and his wife have lived in Ward 5’s Bloomingdale neighborhood for more than 30 years and say they smell marijuana coming from their neighbors’ back yards more than ever before.“We are not so much bothered,” he said. “It’s just that when people come into our home, they may think it’s ours.”The Washington Post poll was conducted Nov. 12-15 among a random sample of 1,005 adult District residents reached on conventional and cellular phones. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus four percentage points; for results in individual wards error margins range from plus or minus 9-13 points.Perry Stein covers D.C., Maryland and Virginia.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:   Perry SteinPublished: Novenber 20, 2015Copyright: 2015 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #21 posted by Oleg the Tumor on November 29, 2015 at 05:15:42 PT
The Smell of Hypocracy . . .
Foreign dignitaries, no doubt, are kept far from the hoi polloi, The Great Unwashed, The Commoners.Still, they must get a waft of what is going on, similar to what other foreign travelers smell as they wander around our nation's capital "viewing (and sniffing) the Americana".They go home chuckling, shaking their heads wondering, "Such a divided house, what could it possibly stand for?" Remember the part of the Constitution where it says, "in order to form a more perfect union…"?Clearly, that work needs to continue. We need another Constitutional Convention, whether we wish to admit it are not.Like Todd Rundgren sang, "if we don't rise - then we will fall…" ("Rise" - from the album, "Global")
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on November 23, 2015 at 11:47:06 PT
Thank you! I will tell him.
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Comment #19 posted by afterburner on November 23, 2015 at 11:43:59 PT
Another Food-based Medicine Resurrected
Natural ginger is up to 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy drugs at treating cancer, study shows, 
I am praying for your nephew and for the growth of a medical system that is devoted to healing, not just treatment of symptoms.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on November 23, 2015 at 08:14:24 PT
He is all alone. I joined a head and neck cancer survivors group on FB and have been getting lots of good advice. We wish he would lock up the house and come home and undergo treatment here but it is up to him.
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on November 23, 2015 at 07:13:20 PT
Your nephew.
I know he's so scared. I hope he has someone there with him. I'd hate to think he's alone through all this.
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on November 22, 2015 at 20:41:37 PT
Hoping and praying for the best, FoM.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on November 22, 2015 at 11:48:50 PT
Not yet. Tomorrow he sees the radiologist and Tuesday the ENT doctor. We will know then the results of the Pet Scan and if it is confined or not. He finally got Obama Care and thank goodness for it but he has had this growth on his neck and in his throat for a while. He has bad headaches too. He beats alcohol and is doing great. It's been around 2 years being sober.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on November 22, 2015 at 10:16:14 PT
D. C. Residents Don't Freak Out 
over scent of cannabis in the air. I'm glad to hear that. Makes me smile, at least inside, when I detect an unexpected whiff of it.Regardless, Texas stinks quite a bit already. That can't be denied. Paper mills. Refineries. Dairies. Stockyards. The scent of "Marijuana" might be nice. Bring it on! We can stand it! 
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on November 22, 2015 at 09:13:02 PT
Comment 11 FoM
It's why it's so important to stay calm and think rationally. Many people have a hard time maintaining their calm and rationality on several political hot button issues. People need to cool their hot button. But too many of us usually favor belligerence, raving, threats, posturing, and fear mongering. Makes me so sad.
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on November 22, 2015 at 09:02:18 PT
Comment 8 FoM
I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew's diagnosis. Have you heard anything else? 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 22, 2015 at 08:47:45 PT
I know protecting me or society is how bad laws are made. Keep wacky tobaccy from people so they don't lose their minds is one example. That is just one major stupid law we care about. I understand we need to watch out for those who want to hurt our country but we don't need to go overboard. We love locking the barn door after the horse is stolen. 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on November 22, 2015 at 08:42:28 PT
Comment 7 FoM
"Who are these angry hateful people that support him?"They are angry and hateful because they are afraid. Very afraid. They are afraid of cunning, dishonest, prideful and warlike people walking among them and being around their children. Those people that they are afraid of are actually afraid, too. It all starts with fear, I think. Fear is joined by anger and they give birth to hatred. Probably, I think, hatred is the most destructive force in the universe... and fear came first.Frankly, I'm afraid of a mind that wants to kill fellow humans. Especially because of wild ass imaginings!I'm all about about love and helping. But it's got to be about protecting, too, sometimes, it seems. I'm here at Cannabis News because of a desire to protect people, humanity, children, property, and household pets from a radically unjust government backed pogram based on heinously unjust laws. Heinous! If I didn't think it was heinous, I wouldn't be bothering to do what I could to speak out against it, at least. I've got plenty to do. I'm not looking for work or for problems or something to be involved in. Like your Cannabis News, it's very creation and your maintenance of it, my speaking out here and other places is and was about trying to protect people from a dangerously overreaching government, spurred on by misled authoritarians of all sorts. Many people see Trump as someone that will protect them.I'm still with the Bern. I think he's a smart, wise old man that's not blinded to what's happening around him by his own ego. I'm trusting that he's healthy and strong despite his many years... maybe even stronger because of them. Some old men are amazingly powerful and they have some of their best years ahead of them. Very productive and worthwhile years.It would be so nice if people weren't afraid and fearful. But they are and they feel they have good reason to be. To them, Trump is saying he will protect them from those they see as a danger.
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on November 21, 2015 at 11:10:20 PT
Legal, Like Tomatoes!
Let us move to a point where marijuana is treated as agriculture - The Boston Globe"Haters gonna hate, hate, hate." Taylor Swift
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 21, 2015 at 09:00:07 PT
We must stop allowing hateful people to control the direction of a free society like ours is suppose to be. I am not watching the news anymore. I have been watching concerts all morning. Turn off the news and turn on something uplifting and we will feel the tension drain away. Right now I am very concerned because my dearly loved nephew who is more like my brother was just diagnosed with neck and throat cancer. We don't know yet how far it has spread. I will keep my focus on what is important and tune out what is utter nonsense. Life is too short to fill it up with hate.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on November 21, 2015 at 08:51:20 PT

I agree with you 100% I get so angry when I see people following the fear mongers. Kill em all and let God sort them out. I watched a concert last night called Shining the Light. It was on how prejudice keeps being fueled. It was very good. I find it so hard to believe that it is possible for Trump to be elected. The more he yells and makes no sense the higher his polls go. Who are these angry hateful people that support him? 
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Comment #6 posted by MikeEEEEE on November 21, 2015 at 07:11:58 PT

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Comment #5 posted by MikeEEEEE on November 21, 2015 at 07:06:10 PT

Sam Adams & FoM 
Sam, I'm not a religious person in any way, but with oceans dieing, floods, droughts and fires, etc; I cannot help think of the end-time prophecies. 
Because of greed, the world is changing for the worst. FoM, you had mentioned in another post that news is slow due to the terrorism coverage. I have to agree, and that's because the corporate media are busy scaring the sheep (their job). This is an opportunity they just cannot pass up. It's easier to CONTROL a population in fear, some of the old tricks are the best tricks. 
Im not minimizing terrorism, but there are much bigger problems in the world: gun violence, lack of healthcare, car accidents/safety, environment, the list goes on. However, the corporate media focuses on a topic that is smaller than compared to other much larger problems. For instance, climate change is predicted to displace millions, and probably kill just as many, including other species. Oil companies and the corporate government here in the U.S. are preparing to fight children who want a climate future.  Very sad times indeed. 
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on November 21, 2015 at 06:31:27 PT

Another example why I like the Bern
This Is Why They Hate Us: The Real American History Neither Ted Cruz Nor the New York Times Will Tell YouWe talk democracy, then overthrow elected governments and prop up awful regimes. Let's discuss the actual history. Bernie calls them out#2 I believe Bernie would resist partaking in regime changes.
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Comment #3 posted by Universer on November 20, 2015 at 21:10:52 PT

OT: Alaska's MCB Votes For Pot Bars
How about a spot of positive news?, motive and opportunity. Some states have it all. (States way the frick far away.)
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on November 20, 2015 at 15:51:44 PT

one question - what percentage of people in DC smell a human fart at least once a month?  We need criminal prohibtion on flatulence! if there aren't enough cops and prosectuorsÉ.hire more!!! 
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on November 20, 2015 at 15:50:14 PT

hot button
Did everyone see the recent story in the news - we just had a coral bleaching event that's killed 1/3rd of the world's coral reefs. With the carbon rapidly building in the air, prepare to say goodbye to coral reefs.  Still we burn up the oil, coal and gas, as the sea swells and prepares to come ashore into our cities.But historians will note that the US rulers were fighting that cannabis smell hard, right to the end! 
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