Washington D.C.’s marijuana legalization law took effect this morning at 12:01 a.m., despite warnings from several congressional Republicans that doing so could result in “severe consequences” for District Mayor Muriel Bowser, reports The Washington Post.
Anti-legalization Republicans are saying that D.C.’s legalization law is illegal as per a political rider attached to the 2015 ‘Cromnibus’ spending bill, introduced by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland), which says that the District of Columbia cannot spend any funds implementing changes to local marijuana laws. “You can go to prison for this,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) warned the mayor. “We’re not playing a little game here.”
Rep. Chaffetz is right about one thing: marijuana legalization is not a game, and D.C. voters demonstrated the seriousness of the issue when they voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalization last November — months before Rep. Harris introduced the rider that prohibitionists are now attempting to wield against D.C. citizens, particularly Mayor Bowser.
“We believe that we’re acting lawfully,” replied Mayor Bowser, who is supported by the D.C. police chief, attorney general, and several top congressional Democrats.
Initiative 71 legalized the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, gave citizens the right to gift up to one ounce to a friend, and now allows for the home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants (though only three may be flowering at any given point).
Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano
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