| News |

Dear Stoner: If Pot's Legal in D.C., Is It Legal Everywhere?

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Dear Stoner: If Washington, D.C., legalized marijuana, does that mean it’s legal in every state?
Sensi Sam

Dear Sam: Wouldn’t that be great? In fact, four months after D.C. voters approved a ballot measure that would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of pot and the cultivation of six plants in residences by adults 21 and up, the legal status of pot in D.C. itself is still somewhat up in the air.

The vote was certified a few days after the election, and in December, Representative Andy Harris, a Republican from Maryland, attached a rider to a federal spending bill that basically said D.C. couldn’t use its congressionally controlled budget “to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use or distribution of” marijuana. The rider was aimed both at the legalization measure approved by voters and a city council-approved decriminalization ordinance passed in July that made possession a civil infraction punishable by a $25 fine.

But D.C. has a badass at the helm: Mayor Muriel Bowser is standing firm for the two-thirds of D.C. voters who approved the initiative, and says the city is acting lawfully; she accuses Congress of “bullying” D.C. rather than doing its actual job.

Dear Stoner: I’m kind of curious about extracts and the way that they are extracted. I guess there’s a difference between butane and CO2 extractions.

Dear Mark: The obvious difference is that one extraction method uses butane and the other uses CO2. Both are highly regulated (unlike icewater extractions), and both require expensive equipment to pull off on a professional level. In a nutshell: Butane acts as a solvent that mixes with the cannabinoids and pulls them out as it passes through the buds. The butane then evaporates, and what you’re left with (more or less) is butane oil. With CO2 extractions, the extraction uses super-pressurized carbon dioxide and water to do basically the same thing. The benefit, some argue, is that CO2 is a more “pure” substance that doesn’t leave residual chemicals behind, as butane can. CO2 is also considered safer, as butane has a tendency to burst into flames around ignition sources.

In theory, CO2 oil sounds like it’s the way to go. But in reality, I’ve never had CO2 oil that I truly enjoyed. It’s always too soft and gooey, without the flavors that make some butane-produced shatters and waxes really enjoyable — although it will get you stoned.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.