D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton doesn’t depend on a vote in Congress to flex her political muscle. All she needs is a youngish staffer, a local business dealing illicit drugs and an outraged community clamoring for change.
Or so learned the unsuspecting operator of an Exxon station in neighboring Anacostia (2652 Benning Road NE) after the Democrat swooped in Tuesday afternoon and called the company to task for trafficking in synthetic marijuana. The designer drug, colloquially known as “K2,” showed up on the scene several years ago but was officially banned by federal law this summer. Norton told HOH the substance popped up on her radar about six months ago, though Tuesday’s sting was actually hatched by activists who insisted the shopkeeper was selling the weed substitute on the side.
After one protester was turned away from a potential buy, Norton dispatched one of her more youthful aides to try to score some smoke.
“When he said he got some ‘Scooby Snax,’” I said, ‘I’m on my way,’” Norton relayed of her rush to confront the opportunistic salesman.
Norton said the store manager pleaded ignorance to any wrongdoing, handing over a now-outdated list of localities still allowed to sell the scientifically created hallucinogen. Norton told him that Congress and the White House had since weighed in and that the die had been cast against him.
By the end of their meeting, Norton said, she walked away with the station owner’s business card (for future reference) and a pledge from the manager that those sales would immediately be discontinued.
“He gave me a promise to stop selling K2 in any form,” she asserted.
Outraged locals, meanwhile, plan to pop by for spot-checks of their own. “He welcomed being tested by the community,” Norton suggested.