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Obama: DC Pot Legalization Is for Them to Decide, Not Congress

Image: Obama: DC Pot Legalization Is for Them to Decide, Not Congress
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By    |   Friday, 12 Dec 2014 04:05 PM

President Barack Obama believes Congress should stay out of the way of D.C. voters who approved the legalization of marijuana, but he also would be willing to sign the government funding bill that includes a provision banning D.C. from legalizing pot.

When asked about the White House's position on Congress “undoing a democratic action, the democratic will of the people of the District of Columbia,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during a Thursday press briefing that the Obama administration has been a “strong supporter of the District of Columbia getting statehood.”

“And that's an indication that we do not believe that Congress should spend a lot of time interfering with the ability of the citizens of the District of Columbia to make decisions related to how they should govern their community,” Earnest told reporters. “And this was a specific referendum, I believe, that was on the last ballot, and we do believe that this kind of congressional interference does interfere with this home rule principle of which the president is strongly supportive.”

However, Earnest said, "The president supports the passage of this compromise proposal and would sign it if it arrives on his desk."

D.C. voters approved a November referendum to allow the possession of up to 2 ounces of pot or three pot plants.

Congressional members argue that the measure included in the government funding bill upholds the federal law, which bans use, possession, and distribution of marijuana.

D.C.’s nonvoting congressional representative, delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, tried to have the marijuana restrictions removed from the bill, and she has argued that “the District has already enacted the referendum by manner of its passage by D.C. voters and that the bill in question would not be able to block it,” The Washington Times reported.

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President Barack Obama believes Congress should stay out of the way of D.C. voters who approved the legalization of marijuana, but he also would be willing to sign the government funding bill that includes a provision banning D.C. from legalizing pot.
obama, dc, pot, legalization
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2014-05-12
Friday, 12 Dec 2014 04:05 PM
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