Capitol Hemp Stops Selling Books Over Fears of Another Raid
If you walked into Capitol Hemp’s Adams Morgan location today, you could buy yourself a “Make Hemp Not War” t-shirt. Or a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap. Or hemp oatmeal, loose-leaf tobacco and even the very water pipes that got the store raided by police last October. But you won’t be able to find a copy of Andrew Sullivan’s “The Cannabis Closet,” a book that focuses on mainstream marijuana use.
Sullivan’s book, along with many others, were quietly removed from shelves in recent weeks over concerns that they could be used to justify another police raid on the store. According to a source close to the store, lawyers for co-owners Adam Eidinger and Alan Amsterdam advised them to stop selling the books for fear that they could be used as pretext for another raid while the two negotiate with prosecutors over charges stemming from October’s raids.
It’s probably sound advice. The police affidavit that justified the October raids made note of the books and DVDs in the store, using them to make a case that the water pipes the stores sells are actually nothing more than bongs to be used for marijuana. Under the District’s laws on drug paraphernalia, these distinctions matter — police have to prove that a seller knew that a pipe would be used for illegal drugs for the pipe itself to be illegal, and what better way than a few books and DVDs to make the case?
One DVD that police singled out was “10 Rules for Dealing With Police,” part of the Flex Your Rights series. According to the affidavit, police questioned the value of such a DVD unless someone wanted to do something illegal. “The typical citizen would not need to know detailed information as to US Supreme Court case law regarding search and seizure because they are not transporting illegal substances in fear of being caught,” it stated.
The DVD is no longer sold. Neither is “Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use” by Jacob Sullum. Or “The Emperor Wears No Clothes: The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana” by Jack Herer, “Hemp Horizons: The Comeback of the World’s Most Promising Plan” by John Roulac and “My Medicine” by Irv Rosenthal. Each of these books could serve as justification by police for yet another raid, according to our source, and were taken off shelves as a precaution.
Neither Eidinger nor Amsterdam chose to comment. Earlier this week their trial for misdemeanor charges of attempted sale of drug paraphernalia were continued until April 2. They hope to work out a deal with prosecutors, but if none can be reached, they’ll be tried and could potentially lose their business if convicted. At a recent meeting of the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District, Eidinger said that business was down and pleaded for a letter of support from the group. While none was offered, individual business owners volunteered to write letters backing the shop.
If you want that copy of “The Cannabis Closet,” you’ll simply have to hope another local business carries it.
Originally posted here