Skip to comments.Lawmaker May Accidentally Make Pot Legal in DC
Posted on 06/27/2014 6:23:24 AM PDT by PoloSec
(Newser) A Maryland congressman who meant to take a stand against looser marijuana laws in Washington, DC, might end up making them even looser thanks to the legal fine print in his amendment. The Washington Post lays out the somewhat convoluted scenario surrounding Republican Andy Harris' legislation: To begin with, recall that DC's city council voted earlier this year to make possession of small amounts of pot punishable by only a $25 fine.
Harris, who thinks that measure is a bad idea and wants to block it from taking effect, tacked an amendment onto a House spending bill that would forbid DC from spending any money to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution" of marijuana.
The problem? DC's law takes effect in July, and Murray's legislation will take much longer than that to wind through the House and Senate. Which means it could take effect after DC's law is on the books. "By blocking the recently enacted law without replacing it with a new one, Harris rider effectively leaves the District with no operative law concerning the possession of small amounts of marijuana," explains Raw Story. As the DCist points out, it's highly unlikely that the Harris amendment would eventually pass the House and Senate, and then escape a presidential veto.
But just in case, the DC attorney general's office is looking into the possible ramifications, says the Post. This potential unintended consequence only underscores why Congress should not meddle in local DC laws, says a spokesperson for Mayor Vincent Gray.
I thought drugs were already legal on Capitol Hill. If it isn’t drugs, what’s causing the commie politicians to go crazy?
My aunt told a story of a similar issue (Michigan maybe?) in the 70’s - a sunset of an old law before a new law was in place. She said she and some friends were enjoying their newly legal pot smoking on the courthouse steps...
If Drug Warriors were capable of thinking through the actual consequences of their utopian feel-good legislating ... they wouldn't be Drug Warriors.