As the result of a bipartisan congressional deal to continue to fund the federal government through September 2015, D.C. will have to wait — perhaps indefinitely — for legal marijuana, a measure approved by district voters in November.
D.C. politicians and marijuana advocates are in disbelief over the deal, which saw Senate Democrats ceding to Republicans’ demands while they still control the chamber.
A major force behind the deal, Md. Rep. Andy Harris has been thorn in the side of D.C.’s decriminalization and legalization movements for a while now. The Eastern Shore Republican introduced an amendment over the summer that sought to squash decriminalization in the district, a cause which he mustered enough willful ignorance to describe as “increasing drug use by D.C. teenagers.”
Concerning this latest example of government overreach on a woefully underrepresented population, Harris was characteristically callous. “The fact is the Constitution gives Congress the ultimate oversight about what happens in the federal district,” he said. Oh, and if you don’t like it, leave.
“If they don’t like that oversight, move outside of the federal district to one of the 50 states that is not covered by the jurisdiction of Congress as a whole,” he suggested.
According to the Washington Post, the spending bill’s anti-pot rider could jeopardize D.C.’s decriminalization of marijuana possession as well.
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