Today I started off my morning the same way I always do – by checking out the Marijuana Moment daily newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, you really need to. It is an OUTSTANDING resource for anyone that wants to stay ‘in the know’ about cannabis policy and news. One item on the newsletter today was that Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is holding a press conference today to bring attention to the issue that Washington D.C. is prohibited from using local funds to start a commercial marijuana industry.
Washington D.C. voters approved marijuana legalization in 2014, but unlike the 8 states that have also voted to legalize marijuana, Washington D.C. does not have a system in place in which people can buy marijuana from a regulated outlet. For obvious reasons, that is a bad idea. The unregulated market in Washington D.C. is thriving from what I have read in media articles, and it does nothing to benefit the citizens of Washington D.C.. Unregulated sales do not generate tax dollars that go to schools and other public needs, they do not create good jobs like a regulated market would, and it results in a lot of people buying cannabis that has not been tested and may be resulting in dollars going towards gangs and cartels.
Washington D.C. should be able to do as it pleases in the area of cannabis commerce. The citizens want it, and they should be able to pursue a regulated industry. Below is more information about the press conference, via Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s website:
The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced that Norton will host a press conference with District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and a coalition of national organizations to protect D.C.’s local laws during the fiscal year 2018 appropriations process on Monday, July 10, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., in HVC-215 (Capitol Visitor Center). With the help of coalition partners, Norton has been able to turn back most of the riders before. Last Congress, she defeated eight attempts to overturn D.C.’s gun safety laws.
Interested media and other attendees should RSVP to: Benjamin.Fritsch@mail.house.gov
The speaking representatives from national organizations will be: Kate Ryan, Senior Policy Representative, NARAL Pro-Choice America; Kimberly Callinan, Chief Program Officer, Compassion and Choices; Kate Bell, Legislative Counsel, Marijuana Policy Project; Cynthia A. Finley, Director of Regulatory Affairs, National Association of Clean Water Agencies; T Christian Heyne, Legislative Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence; and Bo Shuff, Executive Director, DC Vote.
Thus far in the 115th Congress, there have been significant attacks and threats to D.C. home rule and local laws.
- The House’s fiscal year 2018 D.C. Appropriations bill, which was passed out of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, contains a rider that prohibits D.C. from spending its local funds on marijuana commercialization.
D.C. Budget Autonomy
- The House’s FY 2018 D.C. Appropriations, which was passed out of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee bill, repeals D.C.’s budget autonomy referendum.
D.C. Death with Dignity Act
- House and Senate disapproval resolutions (H.J.Res. 27/S.J.Res.4) were introduced to nullify D.C.’s medical aid-in-dying law, the Death with Dignity Act (DWDA). The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed H.J.Res. 27.
- Representative Andy Harris (R-MD), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, has publically threatened to block the DWDA during the appropriations process.
D.C. Gun Safety Laws
- There are three bills pending in the House and Senate that would gut the District’s local gun safety laws.
- H.R. 1537 and S. 162 would wipe out almost all of D.C.’s local gun safety laws, including its ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines and its registration requirements, and would prohibit D.C. from passing gun laws in the future.
- H.R. 2909 would force D.C. to recognize out-of-state permits to carry concealed guns, regardless of the standards those states use for issuing permits.
- The House’s FY 2018 D.C. Appropriations bill, which was passed out of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, contains a rider that prohibits the District from spending its local funds on abortion services for low-income women.
- There are House and Senate bills (H.R. 7/S. 184) to permanently prohibit the D.C. government from spending its local funds on abortion services for low-income women, prohibit D.C. government employees from providing abortions, prohibit abortions in D.C. government facilities, and define the D.C. government as part of the federal government for purposes of abortion. H.R. 7 passed the House.
D.C. Law on Wipes Labeling
- Representative Harris has told the press he is considering offering an amendment to block a new D.C. law regulating the labeling of personal hygiene products, particularly wet wipes, as safe to flush.