My friend and fellow activist Tom Angell has written a stellar article about how Washington D.C. can still legalize recreational marijuana sales, despite attempts by members of Congress to block such an action. There are multiple Washington D.C. officials that are mulling over their options as to how to achieve that objective. Right now possession and cultivation of marijuana is legal in Washington D.C.. However, purchasing marijuana from a store is still forbidden. But that could change if some Washington D.C. Council members have their way. Per Tom Angell’s article on Marijuana.Com:
Under the federal funding bill enacted late last year, the District is prohibited from spending any Fiscal Year 2015 funds “to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution” of marijuana.
But what most observers seem to have missed is that D.C. has other funds available which can still be used to pay for further marijuana reforms.
Specifically, the District has several emergency and contingency coffers that can be used for “unforeseen needs that arise during the fiscal year,” such as “unexpected obligations created by federal law or new public safety or health needs or requirements that have been identified after the budget process has occurred.”
These accounts have already been funded by Congress through appropriations acts in prior years, and thus are not affected by the much-discussed budget rider which only concerns Fiscal Year 2015 funds.
I highly encourage TWB readers to check out the full article that Tom posted on Marijuana.Com. There are some stellar comments from D.C. officials which illustrate just how they might go about this. Legalizing recreational marijuana sales in D.C. is important. It’s important for generating tax revenue for the District. It’s important for generating much needed jobs for the District. It’s also very important for eliminating, or at least drastically affecting, the blackmarket in D.C.. Not everyone can grow marijuana in D.C., nor does everyone know someone that will kindly give them marijuana for no consideration. There needs to be a structured, regulated system for people to make marijuana purchases at stores, and not in the shadows.