Loose Lips

Paul Zukerberg’s D.C. Council Campaign Burns Out

Marijuana Decriminalization Advocate Paul Zukerberg Doesn't Win D.C. Council Seat

A moment after arriving at Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont tonight, Paul Zukerberg ordered himself a Maker's Mark. "It's been a long four months," he said.

The polls had just closed, and the longshot candidate—whose campaign for an at-large D.C. Council seat largely centered on the issue of marijuana decriminalization—was hoping for a decent showing in the returns. "It takes time to earn people's trust and confidence," he said, asked if this would be his last run for D.C. Council.

Zukerberg said that over the course of his campaign, he'd succeeded in raising awareness of the deleterious effects of marijuana enforcement on the young and poor. Of marijuana decriminalization's chances in D.C., he said, "I think they're better off than they were four months ago. I showed people that it is an issue."

A small crowd of supporters—including Hank's co-owner Leslie Detenber—had gathered here, congratulating Zukerberg on his push. The campaign had culminated with a 4/20 concert on the National Mall on Saturday that Zukerberg's event coordinator, John Pylka, said drew 500 people. Although Pylka said he discouraged people from lighting up at the rally, the National Park Police kept a loose and permissive watch. "They gave us a break," Pylka said, perhaps because of the tragedy-filled week.

Zukerberg said he didn't regret his campaign's focus on marijuana, even if it may have led people to discount it as a single-issue effort. "I had to get this message out," he said.

Zukerberg's supporters circled around the bar as Detenber emerged with a hefty tray of oysters. "I'm afraid it's an aphrodisiac," Zukerberg quipped.

At 9:40 p.m., as the first precinct returns showed Zukerberg had so far pulled in less than 3 percent of the vote, the bartender announced it was last call. "It must be bad news for me," Zukerberg said, "because the bar is closing."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Malcolm Kyle

    Paul, thanks for all you do!

    "What of the cripple who hates dancers? What of the ox who loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things? What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless? And of him who comes early to the wedding-feast, and when over-fed and tired goes his way saying that all feasts are a violation and all feasters lawbreakers?"
    —Khalil Gibran

    It is the Prohibitionists, a wholly malignant scourge of absolute scoundrels, who are literally strangling the Constitution and starving Freedom to death. And until the Freedom and Constitution of our once proud and prosperous nation is secured, these same prohibitionist parasites, with their promotion of organized crime, murder, terrorism, and economic recession—and who carry with them a disease far fouler than Old Testament leprosy—shall be hunted down, removed from public life, and punished accordingly.

    Prohibition is an absolute scourge —The End!  The use of drugs is NOT the real problem, the system that grants exclusive distribution rights to violent cartels, terrorists, and corrupt politicians most definitely IS.

    Prohibitionists are simply traitors that haven't yet been Tried and Executed!