In the nation’s capital, cannabis leads a double life. In the city, possessing up to two ounces of cannabis is completely legal for anyone 21-years and older. Home grows are allowed, medical dispensaries sell a variety of licensed products, and a series of gift economy providers have supplemented the city’s lack of recreational dispensaries to supply recreational users. However, on federal property (which there is quite a bit of in the district and surrounding areas) prohibition once again becomes the law of the land, a literal barrier that has seen a handful of recent protest arrests and an anti-cannabis culture led by Department of Justice head Jeff Sessions.
According to Forbes, new research from the group Consumer Research Around Cannabis suggests that when it comes to personnel, that dichotomy doesn’t exactly end at the front steps of the city’s federal buildings. According to a survey of 1,368 people in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia metro area, 8% said that they have purchased marijuana from a legal retailer or dispensary. For the survey’s respondents who are also government employees, the number of legal weed customers bumped up to 11%.
The most notable industry in the District, government employees made up 16.7% of the survey’s total respondents. Of those civil servants, 41% said that they support both medical and recreational cannabis legalization, another indicator that the rank and file members of our federal government aren’t on the same page as the people that sign their checks.
“Those in charge are anti-marijuana, but that doesn't represent what most people believe in the higher levels of these agencies. Most people at the Department of Justice are frankly embarrassed by Attorney General Sessions.” Keith Stroup, legal counsel at the marijuana advocacy group NORML, told Forbes.
Unfortunately, the government’s 420-friendly staffers aren’t the ones making laws, and with Congress still controlling D.C.’s city budget, recreational retail weed is still a pipe dream in the District.