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“Norton Requests Display of Marijuana at U.S. Botanic Garden”

From the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton:

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wrote to the U.S. Botanic Garden requesting it begin displaying marijuana for the first time after the Botanic Garden recently displayed hemp for the first time in its history. Norton had previously requested that the Botanic Garden display hemp.

“As individual states and the country as a whole are moving toward the legalization of marijuana, having a display with male and female marijuana plants would be a historic opportunity to highlight the impact of marijuana on American society and, especially, the American economy,” Norton wrote.

The full letter follows.

May 10, 2023

Dr. Susan K. Pell
Executive Director
United States Botanic Garden
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Dr. Pell:

As you are aware, I worked with your predecessor, Dr. Saharah Moon Chaptoin, regarding the display of hemp and marijuana at the U.S. Botanic Garden. I am very pleased that the Botanic Garden recently began displaying hemp for the first time. I am writing to request that the Botanic Garden also display marijuana for the first time.

More and more states, as well as the federal government, are beginning to legalize various forms of cannabis. In recent years, the House of Representatives has passed several bills that would have descheduled cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

As individual states and the country as a whole are moving toward the legalization of marijuana, having a display with male and female marijuana plants would be a historic opportunity to highlight the impact of marijuana on American society and, especially, the American economy. According to recent statistics, states that legalized marijuana sales collected an estimated 20% more in taxes on retail marijuana sales than on the sale of alcohol products in 2021. Twenty-one states and D.C. have legalized adult use marijuana. Cannabis sales are projected to reach approximately $33.6 billion by the end of this year and as much as $53.5 billion by 2027.

I appreciate your consideration of this request. I request a response in writing by May 24, 2023.”

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