Washington D.C. voted for marijuana legalization in 2014. At the time, Washington D.C. joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska in doing so. Since then California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada have also been added to the list. Washington D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative passed by a wider margin than all of those states (over 70%).
But the legalization model is the only one in the country without a taxed and regulated system in which marijuana can be sold to people over 21 years old. Gifting marijuana is OK in Washington D.C., but any type of sales is prohibited. That’s because anything involving the use of tax dollars in Washington D.C. is subject to Congressional approval. Needless to say that hasn’t happened.
D.C. Councilmember David Grosso wants to change that, which is why he is renewing the push to bring legal marijuana sales to D.C.. Per Daily Caller:
David Grosso, an at-large council member, introduced legislation in the D.C. Council Tuesday to establish a full tax and regulatory framework for weed legalization, which District voters approved by an overwhelming margin in 2014.
The decision mirrors a similar bill Grosso submitted two years ago following the passage of full marijuana legalization by voters. Grosso acknowledges the legislation will flagrantly violate federal law and pit the D.C. Council against Congress, but argues repeated actions to meddle in local law by Congress have forced their hand, reports the DCist.
A 1973 city charter requires the District government to wait for congressional approval before spending money from its budget, which is how Congress has blocked attempts to tax and regulate marijuana. If the Council includes rules governing marijuana in D.C. in their budget, it will be a direct challenge to congressional authority over the city.
It’s my understanding that cannabis is very prevalent in the nation’s capital now. Why not bring as much of that cannabis out of the shadows and into a regulated market? Why not create jobs, give people some legitimacy, and generate some tax dollars? Legal marijuana sales are overdue in Washington D.C.. This is about more than just cannabis – this is about the rights of Washington D.C. residents to have a say in the laws that they are governed by.
image via Wikipedia