Advocates Want Marijuana Use Expanded to Private Clubs in D.C.

D.C. legalized the use of marijuana in private homes this year, but the city still prohibits any group use in private clubs. Marijuana advocates are threatening political retaliation if that restriction is not lifted.

When D.C. approved private marijuana use by adults 21 and older in their homes, the D.C. Council added a provision barring commercial private clubs in part to avoid congressional interference.

The marijuana initiative didn't contemplate commercial group use, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Director Melinda Bolling said.

“Private clubs would allow individuals to immediately become members and participate in the use of marijuana,” she said. “We believe that would be against the intent.”

A steady line of people testified Thursday that group private use should be legal for people who don't want to smoke around their children, for those in federal public housing that bans marijuana and for others not in single family homes.

The toughest testimony came from marijuana advocate Adam Eidenger, who led the marijuana victory last year.

“I'm basically here to send a message that if you don't respect D.C. voters, you will get term limits,” he said.

Eidenger said the term limits could be on the ballot next year if the city keeps restrictions.

“They're totally disrespecting the will of the voters from the last election,” he said. “I want to make it real for them.”

Council Judiciary Chairman Kenyan McDuffie said private group use of marijuana will be decided early next year.

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