Congress is planning to block Washington D.C.’s newly enacted marijuana legalization bill.
According to the Huffington Post, congressional Democrats and Republicans are rumored to be cutting a deal that allows the district to continue its marijuana decriminalization policy, but would ban the city from using funds toward legalization efforts.
Legalization advocates the Drug Policy Alliance claim Democrats are making the deal in an effort to “save face by claiming that they protected D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization law from elimination, even if they failed to protect legalization.”
This effort is especially significant, considering D.C.’s Initiative 71 was voted in by nearly 70 percent of voters last month. The new law would legalize adult marijuana use, as well as possession of up to two ounces and up to six plants for home cultivation.
“In light of recent events in Ferguson and New York, it is particularly disturbing that Congress would choose to overturn the will of the voters in a majority black city,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance and vice chair of the D.C. Cannabis Campaign. “D.C. voters chose to reform their marijuana laws, which have a direct impact on how communities of color interact with police. Congress is poised to undermine that.”
Although the deal seems to put a considerable kibosh on D.C.’s initiative, enacting the law isn’t expected to even have a cost.
“The way I read I71, the District doesn’t have to spend any money in order to implement it,” said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project.
If you would like to defend our electoral process and the power of American voters, please contact House and Senate leadership and let them know how you feel. Here are a few key phone numbers:
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – (202) 224-2541
• Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid – (202) 224-3542
• House Majority Leader John Boehner – (202) 225-0600
• Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – (202) 225-4965