Can Washington’s Gift Economy in Marijuana Work? (The New York Times)

Edited By DAVID LEONHARDT | March 20, 2015
Signing up for a seed exchange event during a cannabis conference in Washington, D.C., in February. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

Signing up for a seed exchange event during a cannabis conference in Washington, D.C., in February. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

It sounds like an idea a stoner might come up with.

In Washington, D.C., it’s now legal to possess marijuana, to grow it, to smoke it and to give it away. But you’re not allowed to trade in it. You can give your neighbor up to an ounce, but if he gives you money or even bakes you a pie in exchange, that’s illegal.

The District of Columbia has legalized marijuana — but is trying not to create a market in marijuana. It’s aiming for a gift economy, not unlike what you might experience at Burning Man, but permanently.

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