Brief: Republican House Representative Vows to Block Marijuana Legalization in D.C.

Republican Congressman Andy Harris, a U.S. House Representative from Maryland, has vowed once more to stop a voter-approved attempt to reform marijuana laws in the nation’s capital.

After D.C. voters passed Initiative 71 to legalize recreational marijuana, Harris told the Washington Post that he would “consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action.” Nevermind that Initiative 71 passed with an overwhelming 2:1 majority for marijuana legalization (only 30% of voters actually opposed the measure). Harris argues that “actions by those in D.C. will result in higher drug use among teens.”

Unfortunately for D.C., political initiatives in the capital city are subject to Congressional review before they can become law. And while Congress has openly nullified a law only one time in 40 years, it did manage to delay the implementation of the District’s medical marijuana program by nearly 15 years with relentless provisions to federal spending bills.

Rep. Harris also attempted action against the District’s decriminalization of marijuana earlier this year, at one point pushing a Republican-supported provision to stop the bill. This effort died in negotiations with Senate Democrats, however, when President Obama threatened to veto the provision outright.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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