Will Marijuana Legalization In DC Survive Congress?
While other states like Oregon and Alaska legalized marijuana with ease on Tuesday, the same proposition in Washington, D.C. is a much taller order, reports Lubbock Online.
Federal lawmakers still have the unique chance to crush legalization in D.C.. Voters went to the polls in droves, with the end result being a major victory for pro-legalization supporters. The final tally was 69 percent in support, and only 31 percent against, extending the city’s decriminalization legislation to cover up to three marijuana plants and two ounces of pot for personal use.
“Members of Congress are literally going to be witness to these changes,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which spent heavily to push all three ballot initiatives. “It’s a form of educating the members of Congress in a way that some members would not get educated, depending on the states that they’re from.”
However, it will still be months before pot is officially acceptable because of a Congressional review process, but officials are unsure if the procedure takes 30 days or 60 days. Sale or taxation is not provided for in the legalization initiative, causing mayor-elect Muriel Bowser to say that she will not allow legalization to come into play until authorities have a coherent plan to tax and regulate the drug. Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris joined the fray by saying that he’ll use all available means to keep the drug out of the public’s hands because of the danger it poses it teenagers.
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, on the other hand, chastised other elected officials for attempting to interfere, arguing that the decision should be left to localities, rather than the federal government.
Others were more direct. Adam Eidinger, chairman of the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, said that federal lawmakers could delay implementation by years and years, but regardless, the Cannabis Campaign will be there to fight them every step of the way.
“Three plants or less doesn’t need to be taxed and regulated,” Eidinger said. “They don’t regulate people who brew their own beer.”
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