Loading

Rider in Federal Omnibus Intends to Block DC Legalization Vote

  • by NORML December 10, 2014

    DC Initiative Measure 71A rider was included in the final version of the House omnibus appropriations bill with the intent blocking the implementation of Washington, DC’s 2014 marijuana legalization initiative.

    As written, the rider seeks to restrict the District from utilizing federal or local funds to “to enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) or any tetrahydrocannabinols derivative.” A summary of the provision posted on the House Appropriations Committee website acknowledges that the language is intended to prevent any funds from being used to “implement a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District.”

    Washington DC’s Initiative 71 was approved by over 70 percent of District voters in November. The initiative seeks to legalize the adult possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and cultivation of three mature and three immature plants.

    “This rider is an affront to the concept of democracy,” commented NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “Seven out of ten voters in Washington, DC cast their ballot in favor of ending prohibition and legalizing the adult possession and limited cultivation of marijuana, this attempt by members of Congress to flout the will of the people is a gross injustice to these voters and to the democratic system.”

    The House will vote on the final version of the omnibus bill in the next couple days and then it must be approved by the Senate. This rider has no impact on the District’s current decriminalization or medicinal marijuana policies. NORML will keep you updated as the situation develops and what precisely this means for legalization in the nation’s capital.

    Further coverage regarding this rider and its potential impact on the District is available from the Washington Post, Roll Call, and CNN.

    70 Responses to “Rider in Federal Omnibus Intends to Block DC Legalization Vote”

    1. Bird Russell says:

      According to MSN News the law as passed will be good to go but the opening of despencreies will be prohibited. has any one else heard anything any different? also doesn’t it have to pass the house now or is this the final word?

    2. MSimon says:

      No funds need to be used to stop arresting people.

      Until we treat cannabis like tomatoes people will still get killed over it. Eric Garner.

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      “This rider is an affront to the concept of democracy,” commented NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “Seven out of ten voters in Washington, DC cast their ballot in favor of ending prohibition and legalizing the adult possession and limited cultivation of marijuana, this attempt by members of Congress to flout the will of the people is a gross injustice to these voters and to the democratic system.”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    4. Douglas says:

      They said that if presdent bloke there bill they will shut the goverment down. Who are this repulicans ? This is aganst american and what it stand for. If this was the 1800 they would have hull this repulicans out side and shoot them. I belive it would be just. We cant have these scum in congres

    5. Matthew Stover says:

      It costs no monies of any sort, to ‘implement’ I71 – as long as President Obama and his neighbors use their own monies, for their indoor gardening, and, simply ‘gift’ ounces, this rider leaves I71 fully intact.

    6. Robyn says:

      you know this is gop crap !

    7. Todd says:

      Game on! “Legal” or “not Legal” is just information, which is free. It’s voter discrimination to charge people to vote.

    8. Dave says:

      I have been scouring the news sites all week for details on this bill, and specifically any DC-related riders. I have to confess I am extremely frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process. Even now we don’t know if the new text actually blocks Initiative 71 or if it merely blocks follow-on regulation to set up a system for taxing and regulating sales. But I am pretty sure of this much: if D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson submits the initiative to Congress right now, before the omnibus bill is ratified and takes effect, then it will be too late for Congress to stop it without specifically voting on a resolution to block the law (which would then have to be approved by the President).

    9. Just An Observer says:

      No democracy in DeeCee? Who would have thunk it…LOL! Moscow On The Potomac.

    10. Miles says:

      Anyone out there care to defend the Republicans?

      I think not! Their prohibitionist ways could not be much more clear! Oh, I know there are exceptions. A few (very few) actually understand the damage of prohibition. Most of them still cling to their idiotic anti-freedom ways.

    Leave a Reply