DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: A debate over legalizing marijuana in the nation’s capital is focusing on the outsized number of arrests of African Americans on minor drug charges.
The racial justice aspect of the campaign is one of many factors making the District of Columbia’s pot legalization push different from what’s happened in Colorado, Washington state and other places around the country.
The District is not a state. Pot would still be illegal on federal land, so there would be no lighting up at the Jefferson Memorial or on the National Mall. And Washington remains under the thumb of Congress, which could thwart the will of the voters as it has on other matters where liberal District tendencies clash with conservative priorities on Capitol Hill.