Washington, D.C., Voters OK Legal Pot, But Congressional Hurdles Remain

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  District of Columbia voters have overwhelmingly approved legalizing marijuana, but pot smokers in the U.S. capital still need congressional approval before they can legally light up.

Washington voters passed Initiative 71, 65 percent to 28 percent on Tuesday, joining Oregon and Alaska in victories that add fuel to the pot legalization movement.

But Congress, which has constitutional oversight of the U.S. capital city, can disapprove a measure within a review period of 30 business days. The president must also approve Congress’ action to stop the initiative from becoming law.

Bill Piper, head of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which backed Initiative 71, said he was confident the new Congress elected on Tuesday, which will take office in January, would not oppose it.

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