WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Congressional controversy as a Maryland representative leads the charge to overturn D.C.’s new law decriminalizing marijuana use in the city. Congressman Andy Harris has put a provision in a new spending bill that would essentially overthrow D.C.’s law, which is a move that has outraged legalization advocates.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the debate.
Seventy percent of voters in D.C. helped pass a measure to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but moves on Capitol Hill could derail that vote.
“The last thing you need is to legalize marijuana,” Congressman Any Harris said.
Harris has been outspoken on his opinion about marijuana. Now, Congressman Harris has included language in a federal spending bill that would overrule D.C. voters and bar personal marijuana use in the city.
Federal lawmakers have oversight of all D.C. polices.
“Our Constitution is very specific on how the federal enclave of the District of Columbia is to be treated,”” Harris said.
But, some say the Maryland congressman should butt out of D.C. affairs.
“Andy Harris is really out of touch with the people in his own district,” Adam Eidinger with the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, said.
Eidinger fought to get the ballot initiative passed. The initiative allows legal possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, the growing of six plants and sharing of an ounce.
He said Harris should not be able to overturn the will of D.C. voters.
“This is not his district. This is Washington, D.C. There are 650-thousand people here and we don’t want him telling us how to write our laws,” Eidinger said.
A sentiment echoed on the House floor by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who accused her colleagues of bullying D.C.
“Congress must find it’s way out the local affairs of the residents of the city who pay the highest federal taxes per capita in the United States,” Norton said.
Legalization advocates say they will continue the fight to keep their law intact.
The D.C. attorney general will ultimately decide how the marijuana law will be interpreted.
The House approved the $1.1-trillion spending bill Thursday evening. The bill will keep government agencies funded through September 2015.
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