Advocacy group DC Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) will hand out baggies of weed to people who receive coronavirus vaccines as part of its recently-announced “Joints for Jabs” program. Cannabis treat bags will be provided by masked and gloved DCMJ volunteers, and will contain pot homegrown by DCMJ members that is pesticide and synthetic fertilizer-free.
The organization plans to give away several pounds of cannabis at the upcoming Joints for Jabs. The District has not identified public vaccination sites yet, and DCMJ will update their giveaway plans when that happens. This group has carried out popular and joint and seed giveaways in the District in previous years, including at Trump’s inauguration. While this will not be safe for various reasons on Biden’s inauguration date, DCMJ notes in a press release that Biden has mentioned plans for a summer commemorative event on the National Mall, if the pandemic has “subsided.”
DCMJ is marketing the campaign as both festive and a public good—meant to celebrate, reward and encourage vaccination. DCMJ states, “[This] community effort aims to highlight the need for further local and national cannabis reform while also advocating for equitable distribution of the critical vaccine.”
The Outlaw Report asked Adam Eidinger, DCMJ co-founder, to elaborate on this connection. He said fair distribution of the vaccine can’t be “taken for granted” so DCMJ is calling for the vaccine to be provided to everyone.
“At the moment, vaccines are prioritized for first responders, caregivers and the elderly but there will come a time when the masses will be asked to step up and get the shots. Many people are feeling a lack of support when it comes to the stress of getting the shot or hearing a lot of negative messaging,” Eidinger said. “Even people supportive of vaccines have some anxiety so being a wellness provider of free cannabis as they depart getting their shots might be just the thing to assure community solidarity.”
Eidinger said that “it’s a blast” to give away cannabis: “During the process one is rewarded on a personal level with love in the form of thank you’s, smiles and compliments,” he said.
DCMJ will also pass out a note at Joints for Jabs about “calling or emailing local lawmakers about cannabis laws,” along with rolling papers, filter tips and seeds.
One of DCMJ’s most notable legislative activities was crafting and introducing Initiative 71, which legalized the possession and cultivation of cannabis in D.C.—it passed in 2014. In the Joints for Jabs statement, DCMJ states it “expects” the new Democratically-controlled Congress to introduce and pass the MORE Act, which the House approved in 2020. This move will deschedule cannabis, decriminalize it at the federal level, and defang the “Harris Rider,” which currently prohibits D.C. from taxing or regulating recreational cannabis.
Eidinger says, when it comes to cannabis reform, “[Federal] law still needs to change, and local D.C. laws are not finished being written, when we still have marijuana arrests here for small-time dealing. Change is needed.”