Section 8 Smoker

While it's been legal to possess and consume cannabis in DC, citizens here can still only do it in their private homes, which leaves many rental housing residents -- particularly tenants in Federally-subsidized Section 8 public housing -- in a rough spot.

Thanks to a budget "rider" introduced by Maryland Rep. Andy Harris a year or so ago as part of a budget bill to avoid a government shutdown, the District Of Columbia is unable to use any of its city budget to implement cannabis taxation/regulation laws, or to implement laws to allow for communal smoking in clubs, bars or caf├ęs and lift the public use ban. (Rep. Harris has had a long history of menacing DC citizens' efforts to achieve self-determination; check out DCMJ's previous adventures here.)

This means that most of us in DC who live in rental housing are forced to either go to somebody else's house (basically, a "speakeasy") or take our chances in public, in a park or someplace, where people can smell it -- including the cops, who arrested 354 people last year for public smoking.

So, if you're a DC citizen who lives in rental housing and are forced to go to a friend's house or sneak around on the street because there's noplace to go to have a civilized smoke at happy hour, thank Maryland Rep. Andy Harris.

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