DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The latest Washington showdown isn’t over budgets or confirmation hearings — it’s over pot.
Marijuana has been legal in the District of Columbia for nearly two months now, despite ongoing warnings from Congress that the city’s voter-approved experiment violates federal law.
Voters in Washington overwhelmingly approved an initiative last November that allows adults to possess up to two ounces of marijuana. They can also cultivate up to six cannabis plants within their homes at one time. But Congress has direct oversight over the District’s laws, so the controversial new law is facing heavy scrutiny from Capitol Hill.
As states that have previously legalized marijuana quickly discover, green-lighting a substance the federal government places in the same category as heroin requires some legal jiujitsu. But in many ways, Washington’s challenge is more complex.