This is turning into one of those classic local v federal government showdowns.
Back in November a ballot initiative was passed by DC voters to legalize marijuana in that area. So like Congress – being advocates for the people – tried to block the voter initiative through the spending bill that was passed in December. But DC residents, don’t sell your black lights and turn-off that ‘Enter the Wu-Tang’ album just yet, the DC Council has a plan.
On Tuesday the DC Council sent the initiative to Congress in hopes that it gets lost through the usual red tape that happens during this time of year. That’s because after a 30-day congressional waiting period, if Congress doesn’t reject the initiative, the legislation would be forced to take effect on February 26. The initiative sent to Congress however legalizes the possession, growing, and gifting of marijuana, but surprisingly still would make the sale of the drug illegal.
The act proved controversial to many federal law makers saying that by the local DC government filing the initiative itself used money and resources that was not allocated by the federal government through the spending bill. Local DC law makers however feel that by DC voters passing the initiative in November, all the city council was doing was carrying out actions that were already enacted.
If all this sounds familiar to you, it should be. In many ways this is the age old battle of local v federal government. The only caveat here is the local government (DC city council) wants to enact marijuana legalization while the federal government is continually blocking. Usually it’s the federal government that wants to enact a certain initiative and the local government tries to block it from happening.
Since the roles are reversed, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Traditionally a battle between local and federal governments, the feds win the majority of the time. This one, depending on who you talk to, looks to be a crapshoot. It could go either way. House Republicans are considering legal action due to the local DC government filing the initiative, which is incredibly ironic since the GOP tends to champion states’ rights more than others.
Still for right now, those in the DC area who like to indulge in the ganja from time-to-time will have to keep going to their dealer’s terrible EDM shows to keep their weed connection alive for the time being. And I think that’s the greatest tragedy of them all.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)