WASHINGTON (AP) — The D.C. Council has sent an initiative legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana to Congress for review, despite an attempt by Congress to block the nation’s capital from legalizing pot.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson transmitted the initiative to House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday. It was approved by nearly two-thirds of District of Columbia voters last fall.

Congress passed a spending bill in December that includes language barring the District from spending any money to liberalize its pot laws. It was meant to protect the city’s decriminalization law while barring legalization. But District leaders argue that the initiative was enacted before Congress passed the bill, even though it has yet to take effect.

Congress now has time to review the measure and could take further steps to block legalization.

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