WASHINGTON (AP) — In the District of Columbia, an ordinary black t-shirt can cost $45 and a baseball cap can cost $50. That’s because both purchases come with a free “gift”–a small amount of marijuana.
In the so-called “District of Cannabis” it’s legal to consume marijuana, but illegal to buy or sell it. The result of this unique legal grey area is a thriving industry of businesses using the “gifting” loophole. So far the city government and police are letting it happen.
A legalization initiative passed overwhelmingly in 2014, but Congress, which oversees the D.C. city government, blocked the city from regulating or taxing marijuana sales. The results are mixed: marijuana enthusiasts are certainly happy, but legalization activists are unsatisfied and the city council is annoyed at all the lost potential tax revenue.