Going Downtown

There may be a different sort of nightlife hitting the streets of the District of Columbia sometime soon. In a move seen as a compromise with Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), city council members voted this month to commence studies on whether or not marijuana lounges should be allowed.

The vote is a complete reversal of the same one held almost a year ago, in which all members of the council voted to ban such establishments. The change of heart seems to be due to concern over the exposure of children to secondhand marijuana smoke, as consumption is restricted to private homes only, or the complete disregard of the law leading to smoking in public spaces.

Also in contention with city law is the federal government ban on DC’s attempts to relax penalties for marijuana possession as well as potential discrimination because of the law. As it stands, low income residents may be removed from public housing for smoking pot.

The compromise commissions a task force that has 225 days to propose plans to opening “a handful” of lounges, though no specific number was given.

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