Congress Gets Final Say on Decriminalizinhg Pot in DC

Saturday, 05 Apr 2014 03:47 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A House subpanel will review the Washington, D.C., plan to decriminalize marijuana in the nation's capital to determine if it should be blocked.

Even though D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed the bill on Monday, rules governing the capitol give Congress 60 days to block proposals, reports The Hill. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said Friday that the Government Operations subpanel will examine the new law after Congress returns from its two-week spring recess.

Issa said he is going to wait until after the hearing to discuss the new bill in detail, but noted that the proceedings will likely discuss the discrepancies between federal, state, and local marijuana laws.

"The will of a city versus the will of the nation is always going to be a bit of a challenge, and we're seeing this unfold [with the marijuana law]," Issa said. "This is an area in transition where the District neither should lead nor be held unreasonably not to be able to follow. And so how it gets reviewed in light of the federal enforcement and so on I think remains to be seen."

Smoking marijuana in public remains a jailable criminal offense under the bill. But people found in possession of marijuana or smoking it in their homes would receive a small fine of $25 and no criminal charges.

Congress has received the bill, and since it takes action by both the House and Senate, such measures are usually not rejected. Republicans, including Government Operations Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., are concerned that the low fines could promote drug use in the city.

"You don't want the nation's capital to become the drug capital,” Mica said. “You find usually when you lower the penalties – whether its the Netherlands or some other jurisdiction – that you attract a lot of undesirable narcotics traffic.”

Mica said he is also worried that the law could create a "gateway" effect leading to the use of other drugs like heroin and cocaine.

But Mica and other Republicans will face opposition by Democrats on the committee. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Oversight panel's senior Democrat, said he has some reservations about the proposed bill, but said he "wouldn't stand in the way of D.C. passing its law."

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Full Holiday Menu for Obamas, Plus 6 Pies

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 20:59 PM

President Barack Obama spent a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holi . . .

NFL Urges Lame-Duck Congress to Renew Terrorism Risk Insurance

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 20:21 PM

The National Football League has joined a growing coalition of business groups across the country to urge Congress to pa . . .

Alaska Pot Backer Ordered to Comply With Subpoena

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 19:11 PM

A campaign-finance investigation is moving forward against an Alaska television reporter who quit her job on-air and vow . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved