Tags: dc | marijuana | legal | midnight | thursday

DC Marijuana Legal at Midnight Thursday Unless Congress Acts

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 12:02 PM

Marijuana will become legal in the District of Columbia after midnight Thursday, but Congress on Wednesday sent signals that it plans to block the voter-approved initiative, according to Roll Call.

Continuing a tug-of-war between Congress and the city over the pot legislation, Jason Chaffetz of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee and Mark Meadows of the Subcommittee on Government Operations sent a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser early Wednesday warning her that moving forward with the city's legislation would break federal law.

Last November, D.C. voters approved Initiative 71 which legalizes the possession of pot for recreational use. In December, Congress blocked the measure by attaching a rider to the year-end spending package barring federal and local funds from being used "to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or reduce penalties associated with the possession, use or distribution" of marijuana, noted Roll Call.

City officials, though, are arguing that since the Congress efforts came after the vote, the law was already enacted before the spending package was signed into law and only applies to additional changes in the D.C. marijuana law, reported Roll Call.

"D.C. residents spoke loud and clear last November when they adopted Initiative 71 to legalize small amounts of marijuana in the District of Columbia," Bowser told the D.C. Council Tuesday morning. "And we of course stand together in wanting to enforce the will of the people by implementing the initiative in a safe, fair and transparent way."

If Congress does not stop the move, D.C. will join Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington in allowing legalized possession of marijuana, according to the Washington Post. In the nation's capital, residents will be allowed to have up to two ounces for recreational use an ounce more than the other states, noted the Post.

In their letter Chaffetz and Meadows  asked Bowser to turn over a list of D.C. employees who participated in enactment of the law, including salary, position, amount of time in the role and specific actions taken, as well as a list of employees who declined to participate, noted Roll Call.

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Marijuana will become legal in the District of Columbia after midnight Thursday, but Congress on Wednesday sent signals that it plans to block the voter-approved initiative.
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2015-02-25
Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 12:02 PM
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