In a move The Washington Post editorial board called "hypocritical" Wednesday, Congress has prepared a deal to de-fund the national war on medical marijuana while at the same time blocking cannabis legalization in Washington D.C.
Congress would be essentially supporting states rights in the 23 states that have medical cannabis laws, while simultaneously disenfranchising the residents of the District yet again.
Congress can stymie DC legalization because it controls the purse strings of the District and intends thwart the will of 68 percent of DC voters with omnibus spending bill language stating, “None of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.”
The Post writes:
“The inclusion of this noxious rider in the giant, must-pass spending bill came at the instigation of House Republicans, but the real blame falls on the White House and Senate Democrats who give lip service to the District’s home rule but don’t think twice about selling it out. ‘I’m opposed to what the House is trying to do,’ Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday of the measure as he sent a signal that he pretty much planned to sit on his hands. ‘If they put it in there, it’s going to be hard to take it out over here.’”
Cannabis law reform advocates simultaneously howled at the meddling in the District and cheered the seemingly imminent passage of the historic Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment of 2014 to de-fund medical marijuana prosecutions. That rider reads:
SEC. ll. None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
The omnibus spending bill has a deadline of midnight tonight to pass.