marijuana daylin leach senate bill 528 dc
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

US Rep: Opponents Who Meddle With DC Marijuana Legalization Will Get Fight Of Their Lives

marijuana daylin leach senate bill 528 dcWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today reassured District of Columbia residents that she will defend the District’s marijuana legalization initiative (Initiative 71), expected to be overwhelmingly approved tonight, from any and all congressional attempts to block or overturn  it.  However, Norton warned residents that Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is still looking for ways to undo the will of D.C. residents.  Harris told The Hill last week, “If legalization passes, I will consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action…”  Norton said that Harris’ interference with a marijuana legalization initiative stimulated by racial injustice is particularly objectionable.  An American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital study of the District, where about half the residents are Black, found that Blacks are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than non-Blacks, and 91 percent of all marijuana-related arrests are of Black residents, even though  Blacks and Whites use marijuana at the same rate.  She said that no Member of Congress has the right to intervene with the city’s right to self-government and its attempt to erase almost unheard-of racial disparities.

“The people have spoken,” Norton said.  “And D.C. residents can rest assured that when a mandate comes directly from the people, they haven’t seen a fight like the fight I’m preparing to make against Rep. Andy Harris and any other Member of Congress who attempts to undo our democratic process.  Initiative 71 is not just about the legalization of marijuana; it addresses an intolerable racial disparity in our city that has crippled the life chances of countless African Americans and Hispanics.  We have not been able to conquer the racial disparity between Black and White marijuana convictions.  What we can do with legalization is to take away the instrument that causes this inequality.”

Just today, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) told Roll Call that D.C. voters  alone, not Congress, should decide whether to legalize marijuana.  Paul said, “I’m not for having the federal government get involved.  I really haven’t taken a stand on…the actual legalization…but I’m against the federal government telling them they can’t.”  Norton said that Senator Paul’s statement was particularly noteworthy because it was unrelated to the underlying marijuana legalization issue, and was based entirely on the democratic principle of local self-government free from federal interference.

In July, the District’s marijuana decriminalization bill took effect.  That same month, the House passed the fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill, which, under an amendment sponsored by Harris, would prohibit the District from spending its local funds to decriminalize or legalize marijuana.  Norton kept the amendment from being included in the Senate’s fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill or in the fiscal year 2015 short-term continuing resolution, which expires on December 11.  Since passage of the Harris amendment, Norton has been working with her allies in the Senate and outside Congress to keep the Harris amendment out of the final fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill.  The Obama Administration has called on Congress to reject the Harris amendment.  The Statement of Administration Policy on the House’s fiscal year 2015 D.C. Appropriations bill said the administration “strongly opposes” the bill’s prohibition on the District spending its own local funds to implement its local marijuana policies because it violates the “principle of States’ rights and of District home rule.”

Twenty-three states have legalized medical marijuana, 18 states have decriminalized marijuana, and two states have legalized marijuana.  A February 2014 Pew Research Center poll found that 54% of Americans support marijuana legalization.

Source: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

  • Green Thumb

    The Stage is set ….. There are two nice hole cards on the for side and they are the 69+ percent passing and the Mayor of DC …..

    Can’t wait to see how this plays out in 2015!

    • MrBudWyzer

      Alright!!!…I have toked a lot of marijuana an’ hash in DC area many years ago now…never had problem…but am glad to see it’s LEGAL there now…

  • Senator Paul: “I really haven’t taken a stand on…the actual legalization”

    That’s odd… I thought he had?

    “but I’m against the federal government telling them they can’t.”

    He’s also against the federal government telling them they can, right? Isn’t that the whole “states’ rights” thing he’s always talking about? States’ rights to legalize… states’ rights to keep prohibition… states’ rights to return to Jim Crow… states’ rights to deny gay people their rights…

    We all have rights, as Americans, to have a drug policy that makes sense. When Rand Paul, or anyone else, suggests that some states have the right to keep a prohibition that is illogical, hypocritical, and against our civil liberties as Americans, then they are not for liberty, they are for authoritarianism. The fact that they are for authoritarianism on a local scale doesn’t make them any less authoritarian.

    • charles

      Actually Paul is standing for what are country was built on, and is 100% right the state government should be in charge not federal, the state’s laws are made or changed by citizen voting which in turn means if the majority of Texans don’t want gay marriage that’s how it should be it’s their right if your not one of those like minded people you can move or try and persuade the people. Your argument is stupid local government is the people’s government just with how the US is today they don’t have the power over federal like they should

      • “Actually Paul is standing for what are country was built on”

        Actually, the argument between federal power and state power goes back to the very beginning, so your statement is not true. This argument isn’t new.

        ” is 100% right the state government should be in charge not federal”

        Less than half of Mississippi Republicans think interracial marriage should be legal. If they could pass such a ban, would you support it?

        “the state’s laws are made or changed by citizen voting”

        Federal laws are also made by citizens voting. For example, we voted in Representatives, Senators, and a Vice President who became president, and they passed the Civil Rights Act, which lets you hate black people all you want, but not discriminate against them. Paul once said he thought the CRA went to far, but now, like any good bullshitter, he says he “always” supported it. Since he went around saying he didn’t for years, maybe you could clarify what he means?

        “which in turn means if the majority of Texans don’t want gay marriage that’s how it should be it’s their right”

        So you say. I say the state of Texas has no more right to deny gay people the right to marry (or adopt, or whatever) than they do to deny interracial marriage, or to prohibit marijuana, or to reinstate slavery.

        “if your not one of those like minded people you can move or try and persuade the people”

        If I’m not a bigot then I can try to persuade bigots not to be bigots? Are you familiar with the Civil Rights battles in the south? Selma? Rosa Parks? If Alabama wants to make black people sit in the back of a bus, is that cool with you?

        “Your argument is stupid local government is the people’s government”

        Yes, your tautalogy is correct. Stupid local government IS the people’s. So is the federal government, which fought a war with secessionists and nullifiers to settle this matter once and for all. That’s why I celebrate the passing of the 13th amendment, and General Sherman’s birthday.

        ” just with how the US is today they don’t have the power over federal like they should”

        Just how far are you willing to let local governments go in denying civil rights to the citizens of this country?

        • There has been no Drug Prohibition Amendment. The Federal Government has no power in the area.

          • Who said there had been? Can you be more specific? There are states with prohibition, just as there is a federal prohibition, and neither should exist. It should be decided for ALL Americans, not just those who are lucky enough to live in a state that doesn’t prohibit. We have rights as Americans that states should not be able to violate.

        • And the Federal Government involvement in marriage is an outgrowth of Jim Crow anti-miscegenation laws.

          Government out of marriage.

          • Well, the Supreme Court stepped in in Loving v. Virginia, as they should have. No state has the right to tell people who can and can’t get married. So, thank goodness the government got involved (meaning, a court case made it all the way up so those wise 9 folks could stop discrimination). You know, they way it SHOULD get involved in gay marriage.

    • Denny

      Same goes for the feds who’ve been telling us for several years they were going to reclassify it and allow nationwide legalization for the states that wanted it. So far, nada, as usual coming from DC and the pres. So much for promises from just about anyone in politics…

      • “feds who’ve been telling us for several years they were going to reclassify it and allow nationwide legalization for the states that wanted it.”

        Who said that? You have names, dates, sources?

  • calvet11

    The will of the people HAS GOT TO STAND. The citizens were asked a question and they voted on it. Initiative 71 passed. It’s over, get on with it!

  • The United Nations will soon send troops – into the twenty-three states which have legalized medical marijuana, the 18 states which have
    decriminalized marijuana, and the two states which have legalized marijuana – to gun down all the pot smokers.

    • stellarvoyager

      Lol! I just blew coffee all over my computer monitor.

      • Is he joking?

        • stellarvoyager

          Whether or not he was being serious, the notion that the UN could ever send troops into the United States of America to enforce drug laws is laughable. For starters, the US is a permanent member of the security council, and could simply veto any such resolution. For another, they simply lack the military might to try to take us on.

          • Mike Y

            Among the more prominent military powers who contribute soldiers to the UN “Peace-keeping forces” is Pakistan. Pakistan has justly been described as an Army with a Country, a military establishment which we subsidize lavishly for rather Byzantine political reasons. Sorry, but transporting Pakistani soldiers 11,000 miles to wage a war on weed AND us footing the bill for such an excursion doesn’t pass the ‘Giggle test”.

        • Guest

          ..

          • That’s why I asked if he’s joking. The idea that the UN will send troops to the US is a BS conspiracy theory fueled by right wing lunatics selling chum to the rubes.

  • downthelaw

    I believe Andy Harris has bigger fish to fry then stopping marijuana legalization. For one thing, it isn’t going to get stopped. He has no chance. But for anyone to be against legalization is to be against freedom in this country. Why would anyone fight to not have a pointless, costly, wasteful, FAILED law overturned. Wake up and smell the pot morons.

    • It might very well be stopped.

      http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2014/11/battle-with-congress-brewing-as-d-c-approves-recreational-marijuana-use/

      “There had been speculation before Tuesday that if voters in the District legalized recreational marijuana, a Republican-controlled Congress taking office in January 2015 would use the power of a joint Congressional resolution to overturn the law.”

      The President can’t even veto it, I believe. The GOP controlled House and the GOP controlled Senate can get a hand-full of conservative democrats on board to pass a joint resolution to stop it. Can’t wait to see what percent of Democrats vs Republican vote on that POS.

      • Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) will be fighting any move to oppose this. He tells Republicans to get on the legalization band wagon. He claims his stance on pot was good for 5% of the vote he got in the last election.
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/gop-congressman-republicans-should-embrace-marijuana-legalization/2014/11/14/49e20ad8-6b77-11e4-a31c-77759fc1eacc_story.html

        At the link he is with Eleanor Holmes Norton – who is the Rep (non-voting) for DC. She favors legalization.

        • He can “fight” it all he wants, but as I’ve shown before, a very small percent of the Republicans in congress agree with him. Unless the Democrats (over 90% of which will probably vote the right way) form a coalition with the handful of Republicans, then it will be stopped. And the new congress will have even less Democrats, and more hippie punching Republicans.

          So, wanna bet? I’ll give even money that this gets passed (by both the House and the Senate) resulting in a joint resolution that overrides the will of DC residents (who are, BTW, still taxed without being represented). Loser pays winner’s charity. $50.

          • If by “very small percent” you mean around 25% – you are correct. But that 25% will be critical in next couple of years.

            Democrats had their chance and did nothing. So we ought to consider working with what we have. If we want to be effective. I see you favor such a position. Good.

            I’ll design you a circuit board if I lose. http://spacetimepro.blogspot.com/ My cash flow is not too good these days.

            The charity of my choice would be Reason Foundation.

  • HCV

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I heard or read somewhere that ” Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) ” has financial ties to the Rehab / private prison Industry.I think he is also an MD or something, probably a veterinarian. If so this may be the cause of his obstructionist position. He would be protecting himself and others like him, in that multi billion dollar court forced rehab or private prison industries Which is forced upon many arrested for simple possession of small amounts, and they are required to pay for the Rehab themselves or go to one of those privately run facilities. Just look at those multiple Judges in PA. that were caught receiving kickbacks for diverting and the incarceration of juvenile’s into the Rehab or a private prison system. I also find it odd that in his own state, many measures have passed lately without his interference.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • Looks like you’re right… He’s an MD, and he gets big money from all kinds of people with financial incentives to keep weed illegal.

      http://influenceexplorer.com/politician/andy-harris/b52cdcc185a74129885d1ab6f5eee532

      I would add that that doesn’t have to be the only cause of his obstruction. He could just be another hippie punching wingnut who likes torture and booze.

      • stellarvoyager

        Since those of us who live outside of Andy Harris’s district have no way to directly hold him accountable for his bullshit, I am inclined to punish those who have supported him instead. Learn who his backers are and boycott them. If you happen to drive through the district, do not support any businesses there. I’ll bet a lot of DC residents vacation there, since it is right next door to DC, and is located on the shore, so they could just choose to take vacations elsewhere. Look for allies who dislike him on other issues, and get them involved, too. Keep up the pressure until the voters remove him. Make it hurt financially to support politicians like Andy Harris. Let there be serious consequences for foisting this corrupt slimeball on our nation. I recall that the gay rights community used similar tactics to great effect, so let’s do the same ourselves.

        • You can see a list of his top contributors at the link in my comment above.

          • stellarvoyager

            Thanks. I’ll bet he’s yet another politician who is addicted to Koch.

          • The Koch Bros. through Reason Foundation support legalization. The Koch’s are libertarians not Republicans. It is funny that so few get this.

          • stellarvoyager

            Maybe so, but they will still support prohibitionists (e.g., Mitt Romney) if it fattens their bottom line.

          • Smaller government with less money to dispense is the answer. Something they actually support through Reason Foundation.

          • stellarvoyager

            But what matters more is the candidates they support, and they don’t have a very good track record when it comes to cannabis freedom. If they really wanted to walk their talk, they would have supported Gary Johnson in 2012, when he ran as a Republican, and then when he got the Libertarian party nomination. Actions speak louder than words.

          • painkills2

            Sometimes, smaller isn’t better. But size shouldn’t matter — it’s what you do with it that counts.

      • HeinekenPete

        …thanks for this great web-site, Scott! It sure helps follow the money trail to see who these folks really serve. So Andy is an anesthesiologist. Sounds like he’s hell-bent on only supporting drugs that’ll make him & his peeps money by ensuring that the playing field is slanted in their favor, meaning, no cannabis allowed…

        • slongo

          Ooooh, looky here…”American Interventional Pain Physician$” lobby

      • HCV

        Look what I found, (thanks Scott for the link)

        Under Health Professionals / Adelson Drug Clinic Donations / Rep. Andy Harris ,, Campaign Finance ,,,

        $1,226,310 ,, Received 2013-2014 ,, more if you look at the other years

        Campaign Finance ,, $47,411,700
        Given (all years) To Harris and others

        Along with many “D’s” and “R’s and dog catchers ,, anyone he can buy.

        Adelson Drug Clinic

        Information
        The Adelson Clinic is a private, non-profit organization founded by Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson and
        dedicated to treating the disease of opiate (heroin and painkillers) addiction by providing methadone (maintenance) treatment
        and counseling services. The clinic staff is treating individuals with compassion and extends a helping hand in a safe and dignified environment. Founded in February 2000, the clinic is certified for adults and teenagers, and is the
        only local clinic to use methadone to treat teen dependency on painkillers such as Oxygenating and Lortab, or heroin or marijuana.

        FYI / BIO ,,,, Sheldon Gary Adelson (pronounced /ˈædəlsən/;
        born August 4, 1933) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He
        is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the parent company of
        Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
        and the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
        He also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel HaYom. Adelson,
        a lifelong donor and philanthropist to a variety of causes, founded with his
        wife’s initiative the Adelson Foundation.

        As of July 2014, Adelson was listed by
        Forbes as having a fortune of $36.4 billion, and as the 10th richest person in
        the world.[3]

        Adelson is also a major contributor to Republican
        Party candidates, which has resulted in his gaining significant
        influence within the party.[4][5]

        There is a Link to his Israeli daily newspaper with some interesting info (need to use a translator program to read)
        .
        On a personal note; ,,,, If he even tries to open a casino here in Florida ,, Or even buy into the Indian casino network
        many will go to jail over his blatant erroneous influence in the MM.J amendment. Even those against the amendment see it as a buy in.
        It’s noted by the amount of land, old hotels. beach access, etc suddenly being purchased in the Dayton and Miami areas.
        I will never step foot in a Sands related casino or any of his related endeavors ever again.
        That also goes for the Crotch Brothers also.I am a equal opportunity dissident.