Congressional Budget Deal May Upend Marijuana Legalization In D.C.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Tucked in the massive spending bill needed to prevent a federal government shutdown may be a measure sought by conservative House Republicans to halt marijuana legalization in the nation’s capital, advocates for the measure say.

Seven in 10 D.C. voters backed an initiative last month to follow Colorado and Washington state in legalizing marijuana.

But three people who have been closely tracking the issue say budget negotiators in the Democratic-controlled Senate have agreed to curb the popular measure. Congress has the power to do so by restricting city spending.

“This is old-school, backroom, dirty politics,” said Adam Eidinger, one of the three, who led efforts to pass the city’s marijuana legalization measure, known as Initiative 71. “It is fundamentally undemocratic.” The other two keeping track of the issue are a lobbyist and a congressional staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations.

 

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