Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 2015
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2015 Star Advertiser


The city that brought America government shutdowns and all-night 
filibusters is set to make pot legal on Thursday. But by the time the 
chaos over implementing the law is settled, most everyone in the 
District of Columbia might wish they were smoking some.

Residents voted overwhelmingly in November to allow growing and 
possessing small amounts of marijuana. But Congress, using its 
oversight authority over the nation's capital, inserted a provision 
into a massive December spending deal that prevented the local 
government from enacting the law.

A dispute over the meaning of "enact" has left a significant haze of 
uncertainty over what exactly is legal. It has also sparked a 
standoff between the Democratic mayor, Muriel Bowser, and the 
Republican-led Congress, which has made oblique threats of jailing 
city officials if they proceed with legalization.

The fight highlights the constant tension over autonomy in this city 
of largely liberal voters that is overseen by an increasingly 
conservative Congress. The local issue also holds symbolic value in 
the national battle over marijuana laws, given the district's 
position as the headquarters in the war on drugs.

Colorado and Washington state already allow legal pot sales. 
Marijuana is now legal in Alaska, but the state lacks regulation to 
create a legal market. Oregon voters legalized marijuana in November, 
but it won't become legal there until July.

- --- Tribune News Service
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom