Council members in the District of Columbia gathered together today to discuss the bill passed by voters which legalized recreational marijuana. In November 2014, 65% of voters approved a measure which legalized recreational marijuana in the District of Columbia.
Under the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015, the possession and sale of marijuana for adults is legal and it permits the cultivation of up to six plants. The measure also created a system of rules and regulations governing the sale of marijuana infused products and edibles. The District’s liquor board will be in charge of overseeing regulation and the tax revenue generate from marijuana will go into a dedicated fund.
Bill faces strong opposition
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson of the District of Columbia faces strong opposition from congressional Republicans, who included language in a December spending law that barred the city from using any funds to legalize marijuana. Mendelson, however, submitted the bill to Congress, and Congress has until the end of February to overturn the ballot initiative which was overwhelmingly approved by Washington voters.
Congress has direct oversight over the District of Columbia and the congressional review period runs out at the end of February. Congress has used its power to overturn three bills in the District of Columbia over the course of the last 40 years.
Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, said that her administration wants to work with Congress to have the bill approved. President Obama has also taken a stance on legal marijuana in Washington D.C. His fiscal 2016 budget leaves the District of Columbia free to spend its own funds on legalization.