Capital City Care dispensary

After a legal battle that lasted more than a decade, the first legal medical marijuana was sold in Washington D.C. yesterday. From the Washington Post:

The 15-year struggle to legalize medical marijuana in the District ended like this: A 51-year-old Northwest resident entered a North Capitol Street rowhouse Monday evening and emerged 90 minutes later with slightly less than a half-ounce of street-legal, high-grade, D.C.-grown cannabis.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Alonzo walked into the high-security sales room of the Capital City Care dispensary with two store employees to consummate the city’s first legal marijuana deal in at least 75 years. He purchased about $250 worth of three strains of cannabis.

What is truly remarkable about this event is how unremarkable it ended up being after such a long wait.

It received barely any news coverage. There were no protests or raids by federal law enforcement. As far as I can tell, there won’t even be any opposition statements from important members of Congress or major political organizations.

While the Department of Justice continues to maintain the position that cannabis has no medical value and its sale is illegal under federal law, it is actively ignoring a medical marijuana dispensary that is operating just a few miles from its main office. Marijuana for medical purposes is now being openly grown and sold almost within sight of the FBI building and it appears they aren’t even going to waste the time doing anything about it.

It is a powerful symbol of how even as the DOJ stubbornly refuses to simply reschedule the plan, on a practical and popular level it has completely lost the fight against medical marijuana. It is well past time Attorney General Eric Holder ended this legal absurdity by acknowledging marijuana’s proven medical value and rescheduling it.

Photo from Capital City Care facebook page

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at