WASHINGTON (WJLA) — A day after a DC Council bill was defeated, sighs of relief from dozens of marijuana “gifters,” stores that would have faced fines of up to $30,000 for a scheme, where a buyer pays a ridiculously high price for something like a post card, and the seller, then “gifts” the buyer marijuana.
One of those celebrating today is Gino Deeb, owner of Up In Smoke, a Northeast Washington marijuana gifting store. The store is painted bright pink with images of famous pot smokers including Bob Marley and Snoop Dogg.
“I’m glad it didn’t’ go through, good for us,” said Deeb.
Deeb said he launched an email campaign against the bill that reached 10,000 people and hopes it played a role in the council’s bill failing by one vote.
Ward 2 DC Councilmember Brooke Pinto(D) said she voted for the bill that failed because of a need for the city’s laws to be respected and also she says the “gifting” stores are hurting the city’s legitimate medical marijuana stores. Their prices are higher, at least in part, because they have to pay taxes to the city, while the “gifting” stores could not if they wanted to.
Congress has prohibited DC from approving the sale and taxation of recreational marijuana. In the failed legislation was a provision to allow anyone over age 21 to self-certify that they have a medical need.
The bill the council considered was emergency legislation that would have taken effect immediately. Now that has failed, there are several other bills in the pipeline that deal with marijuana sales, but would require public hearings and other procedures required for regulation legislation.