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It’s not just D.C. worried about the feds meddling with its now-legal pot.
A bipartisan group of members of Congress who represent states that have recently relaxed their marijuana laws are hosting a press conference today to discuss how federal lawmakers should respond to legalization efforts at the state level. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton will be in attendance.
“I am pleased to stand with my colleagues in a bipartisan response to threats we are already receiving to overturn the will of District of Columbia voters,” Norton said in a release. “The D.C. marijuana legalization ballot initiative, approved by two-thirds of voters, is in line with the majority of Americans. Even when opinions differ on the underlying issue of marijuana legalization, there is no debate that local laws in this country are for local jurisdictions.”
Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, and Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado are also co-hosting. Voters in Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. approved ballot initiatives last week to legalize marijuana.
While these states’ laws may conflict with federal prohibition, D.C.—-because it’s not a state—-is the only one of the jurisdictions that must wait for Congress to decide whether to block its voter-backed marijuana law before it goes into effect.
Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland has already said he would do everything in his power to block it. In response, Norton said she would give Congress the “fight of their lives” if anyone messes with D.C.’s marijuana laws.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery