Join Club

Legal Review: D.C. Pot Vendors Face Police Scrutiny

By Criminal Defense Attorney David Benowitz, a partner at Price Benowitz LLP.

In 2014, the District of Columbia legalized the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana, up to two ounces, for recreational use. The accompanying cannabis boom led to many new businesses focused on providing marijuana and its associated products to the masses.

However, Congress used the authority it has over laws enacted in D.C. to override the District’s decision on legalization of sales and continued to prohibit the sale of even small amounts of marijuana.

The District of Columbia was created by the Residence Act in 1790, which authorized the creation of a federal district that would be home to the federal government.

As D.C. is not part of any state — though its land came from Virginia and Maryland — Congress retains the final say on any rules or laws made or passed in the District. It has a mayor and a city council, that govern the operation of the city, but these individuals and the laws they make are ultimately at the mercy of Congress.

This is where the relationship between recreational marijuana in D.C. and Congress’s final say intersect. Congress, unhappy with D.C.’s decision to legalize a substance that the federal government continues to classify as illegal, decided to override D.C.’s decision to legalize its sale for recreational use.

Therefore, the sale of marijuana for recreational use is still illegal in D.C.. Individuals with cannabis-based businesses have sought other, creative ways to avoid being arrested and charged, including doing “giveaways” where marijuana is given away in connection with the purchase of some item of nominal value.

“Law enforcement officials are not willing to overlook these attempts to skirt the the law and have begun to aggressively pursue individuals involved in such activities,” said David Benowitz, a Washington, D.C. drug charges attorney and partner at Price Benowitz LLP. “Individuals charged with crimes related to marijuana possession should seek out competent legal counsel to defend their rights, regardless of how they may feel about the arrest itself.”

It is important to remember that the possession of two ounces or less of marijuana in D.C. is still legal, so being charged with possession is highly unlikely. However, attempting to sell the drug, regardless of how the sale is structured, exposes the seller to increased potential penalties.

Recent Stories

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) After lockdowns, a fatal, apparent drug overdose, a racist threat of gun violence, and additional threats and gun-related incidents — all within the past few weeks…

A pair of incidents have prompted police investigations at two Arlington middle schools to start the week. A student at Thomas Jefferson Middle School allegedly brought a weapon to school…

It’s set to be a busy month at the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington as it continues to look for a permanent home. The museum is participating in a number…

Ask Eli dives into the performance of single-family homes in 2022.

Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.

$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.

$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.

$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.

On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.

Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.

On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by


Subscribe to our mailing list