Washington D.C. voters overwhelmingly passed a marijuana legalization initiative during the last election. The move brought swift reactions from anti-marijuana members of Congress who tried to block the initiative from being implemented via a rider in the federal budget bill. However, due to poor language, and a strong will in D.C., it appears that the attempt wasn’t enough to stop D.C., which has started the process of making the initiative law. Per the Washington Post:
The District of Columbia defied the new Republican Congress on Tuesday, challenging the House and Senate to either block or let stand a voter-approved ballot measure to legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital.
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) sent the measure to Capitol Hill, starting the clock on a 30-day review window that Congress has usedonly three times in 40 years to quash a local D.C. law.
If Congress or President Obama do not act to block it, the ballot measure permitting possession of up to two ounces and home cultivation of pot could become law in the District as early as March.
For a little while people were wondering if D.C. would move forward due to the actions and words coming out of the United States Congress. I’m happy to see that they are, and the ball is now fully in Congress’ court. If Congress does nothing (which they are very good at doing), the initiative automatically becomes law. The fact that the burden is on Congress to block it, and not on D.C. to fight for it, is very significant. I’m confident that things will work out, and that there will be legal marijuana grown in D.C. this Spring.