22 People Arrested, 17 Lbs. of Marijuana Seized in Downtown DC Drug Bust - NBC4 Washington

22 People Arrested, 17 Lbs. of Marijuana Seized in Downtown DC Drug Bust

Vendors were selling pairs of tube socks for $400 and then giving buyers a "gift" of marijuana, sources said

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    22 Arrested in Marijuana Bust at DC Club

    More than 20 people were arrested at a D.C. nightclub after selling items like tube socks with "free" marijuana. Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018)

    Buy a pair of tube socks for $400 and get a free gift of marijuana. 

    Vendors making sales like these were among nearly two dozen people arrested this weekend at a nightclub in downtown D.C., sources tell News4. 

    D.C. officers raided XO Lounge on the 1400 block of L Street NW, arresting 22 people and seizing about 17 pounds of marijuana, police reports show.

    The search that occurred about 7 p.m. Saturday was performed in response to "ongoing drug complaints," police said.

    Photo credit: Metropolitan Police Department

    Officers seized the marijuana plus 10 pounds of "edibles" -- that is, food made with marijuana -- and two quarts of oils infused with THC, the active ingredient of cannabis.

    Photos from police show jars of marijuana, plastic bags full of baked goods and pairs of striped socks laid out on tables.

    Similar photos appear on Instagram, tagged with XO Lounge as the location where the Instagram users took them. One photo shows jars of marijuana; another shows brightly colored snacks marked as edibles.

    A man who was arrested said he and others spent the weekend in the D.C. police lockup. He questioned why the department was cracking down. 

    He and others arrested face charges including possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

    Multiple people were arrested on similar charges Friday night at the restaurant Piola, on the 2200 block of 14th Street NW, sources told News4.

    XO Lounge, located near the site of the former Washington Post building, is a three-story destination to "see and be seen," its website says.

    A D.C. law legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana went into effect in February 2015. People age 21 and older can legally possess as much as 2 ounces and give 1 ounce or less to someone else, as long as no money, goods or services are exchanged.

    But it remains a crime in D.C. for anyone to sell pot or use it in public.

    A number of businesses skirt the law against selling marijuana by selling customers items and then giving them marijuana as a "gift."

    Marijuana activist Adam Eidinger suggested some business owners are confused. 

    “I think a lot of venues, they think it's legal to have a social event with cannabis, but it’s not,” he said. 

    “I think these people are just trying to make a living, and they’re not bad people, and they should be able to do what they’re doing," Eidinger said. "But Congress is blocking D.C. Council from even writing a law that would allow them to do what they’re doing."

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