Marijuana became legal in the nation’s capital on Thursday as a voter initiative into came into effect, despite Republican challenges that the move is illegal.
With Initiative 71, which passed with overwhelming support, people over 21 can possess up to two ounces of marijuana smoke on private property, grow up to six marijuana plants at home, and share up to an ounce with another adult as long as no goods or money is exchanged.
As Democracy Now! reported, “Congress has oversight of laws in D.C., and Republicans tucked a measure into a spending bill to block new laws easing marijuana rules in the district.” Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of the marijuana reform organization NORML explained:
The Washington Post adds: “House Republicans said Wednesday that they are not preparing to take legal action against the city should it proceed in defiance of a congressional funding rider. Instead, one congressman said, it would fall to the Justice Department to intervene—a much less likely scenario under the Obama administration.”
District Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a statement Tuesday affirming the legalization.
“In November, residents of the District of Columbia voted to legalize small amounts of marijuana by adults for personal, in-home use in the District,” Bowser said of the initiative. “We will uphold the letter and the spirit of the initiative that was passed last year, and we will establish the Initiative 71 Task Force to coordinate our enforcement, awareness and engagement efforts and address policy questions as they arise.”
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