Hundreds of D.C. residents flocked to a free marijuana seed giveaway on Thursday, walking away with a baggy full of hope — and the chance to legally grow their own cannabis at home.
The Washington Post called it a "massive, public drug deal," noting that police were on the scene, but not stopping the event from taking place.
D.C. residents voted to legalize marijuana in November, but interference from Congress prevents the city from creating a regulatory structure to sell or tax the drug. The law, however, still allows for possession of two ounces or less and home grow operations with up to six plants, with no more than three mature at any one time.
And while you can't sell weed, sharing is totally fine.
The group that organized the giveaway, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, will hold a second event on Saturday, and told WaPo that 1,300 people had signed up in total.
Luke Goodman, a 22-year-old from Tulsa, shot himself while on vacation in Colorado and his family blames his death on the five edible marijuana candies he consumed earlier in the day.
Goodman died on Tuesday after two days on life support and the local coroner's office said his death was "consistent with suicide," USA Today reports.
His mother, Kim Goodman, said the potent doses of pot caused him to take his own life.
"It was completely a reaction to the drugs," she told KCNC, the CBS affiliate in Denver. "It was completely out of character for Luke. … There was no depression or anything that would leave us being concerned, nothing like that."
The young man was traveling with a handgun, which he used for protection, according to KCNC.
Since Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012, the market for edible products has soared in ways that few people would have predicted. Sales of pot-infused edibles made up roughly 45 percent of the state's legal weed market in 2014.
With the growth comes concerns over abuse and possible injury. Even marijuana backers say to approach the drug in the same way you would with alcohol, consuming the recommended dose.
Eventually corporate America will get onboard with legal weed and all the small, independent ganja growers and sellers across the country will have to compete with emporium-style businesses.
Unless, that is, Willie Nelson can get there first.
The 81-year-old country music legend plans to open his own chain of marijuana dispensaries, selling his own "Willie's Reserve" strain of cannabis, as well as signature smoking gear.
The Daily Beast reached out to the spokesperson for the undertaking, pot lobbyist Michael Bowman, who says Nelson wants to create the "anti-Walmart model" that "empowers small growers who are doing the right thing."
They expect to begin opening stores next year in states where marijuana is already legal, taking a Whole Foods approach, meaning they'll sell their own products alongside other trusted brands.
"Well, you know, Willie has spent a lifetime in support of cannabis, both the industrial hemp side and the marijuana side," Bowman told The Daily Beast. "He wants it to be something that’s reflective of his passion."
Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.