Tags: district of columbia | marijuana | initiative | congress

Congress Plans to Partially Defund DC Pot Initiative

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 07:57 PM

A congressional deal to avert another government shutdown contains a provision to stop the District of Columbia from allowing the sale of marijuana, angering supporters of a pro-pot initiative that D.C. voters approved overwhelmingly in November, The Washington Post reports.

The anti-pot measure — a budget "rider" slipped into a $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that would keep the government running past Thursday — could prevent the nation's capital from joining Colorado and Washington as legal weed havens.

The measure does not overturn the results of Initiative 71, the legalization referendum that passed on Nov. 4 with more than 60 percent of the vote, but it strips any local funding for oversight and regulation of legal pot sales.

Critics call the rider unjustified, and a violation of the city's Home Rule Charter, which Congress approved in 1973 to guarantee the District more autonomy in policy and spending.

"To undermine the vote of the people — taxpayers — does not foster or promote the 'limited government' stance House Republicans claim they stand for; it’s uninformed paternalistic meddling," a D.C. city council member, David Grosso, complained in a press release entitled, " Don’t Blunt D.C.’s Election," the Post reports.

Under the Constitution, Washington, D.C., is a federal enclave that operates under congressional supervision and with no voting representatives of its own in the House or Senate.

That arrangement has allowed individual lawmakers from anywhere in the county to influence and dictate limits to the city's budget in the past.

The push against legal marijuana in D.C., is led by Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican who inserted an even stricter provision into the omnibus spending bill that lawmakers are racing to complete before the holidays.

Harris' first rider would have barred the city's elected officials outright from passing a law to implement the results of the referendum, let alone fund its provisions.

The funding block in place now could still turn into something else as budget negotiations advance, but congressional staffers told the Post that the existing compromise may be the best the city can expect.

"I would be at a loss to explain why Democrats would agree to block D.C. marijuana legalization on their watch," Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting delegate to Congress, said in a press release.

"Republicans will control Congress in less than a month," Norton continued. "I don’t know why Democrats would give them a head start in interfering with the District’s local laws."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
US
A congressional deal to avert another government shutdown contains a provision to stop the District of Columbia from allowing the sale of marijuana, angering supporters of a pro-pot initiative that D.C. voters approved overwhelmingly in November, The Washington Post reports.
district of columbia, marijuana, initiative, congress
404
2014-57-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 07:57 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

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.

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