WASHINGTON - A pop-up marijuana party in the District ended with 27 people under arrest. Police are now warning that they are specifically targeting these type of events.
If you search the hashtag #dcweedevents on Instagram, D.C.'s not-so-secret drug scene appears. Pot parties claiming to be Initiative 71 compliant are being advertised openly.
Even though possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal in the District, pot sales are not allowed under Initiative 71, except for medical marijuana patients who can purchase it at the five medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.
However, for the people who host these marijuana parties, they sell other goods, but then give marijuana as a "gift."
DCMJ, a pro-marijuana group, said vendors who believe they have found a loophole are actually misinterpreting the law.
"The law is very clear you can give it away without remuneration, but if you are buying something and getting something in return, that's still a transaction," said DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller.
As these marijuana parties grow in popularity, cops are cracking down. There were 27 people arrested Thursday night at the Studio W warehouse on W Street in Northeast D.C. They also confiscating drugs, a firearm and $10,000 in cash.
Schiller advises pot users to understand the law. Initiative 71 only allows users to carry two ounces of marijuana in public. Only one ounce of pot can be gifted to someone else. Also, concentrates or edibles are illegal unless you make and keep them at home or if you are a medical marijuana patient.
"The legal way to obtain cannabis in the District of Columbia is to grow it yourself, find a friend that grows it and get it from them for free as a gift or register as a medical cannabis patient with the Department of Health and be able to go to one of the five dispensaries in the District of Columbia."
D.C. police said they are not targeting people who are consuming marijuana legally. But they said sellers should beware as they are taking enforcement action and specifically targeting the vendors.
According to the charging documents from Thursday night's raid, they explain that marijuana only includes leaves, stems, flowers and seeds - and not the resin or any derivative from the plant.
The charging documents also say THC-infused honey to THC bath salts were also confiscated.