Congress allows DC to implement 1998 medical marijuana law

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator December 9, 2009

    House and Senate negotiations for the 2010 Appropriations bill have been completed. This is the huge federal budget bill and it just so happens that Washington DC is a federal district and its spending is controlled by Congress.

    In 1998, DC passed a medical marijuana bill overwhelmingly, but Congressional drug warriors led by Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia prevented DC from spending any federal money to count the votes (that’s right, in our democracy’s capital, our leaders conspired to prevent citizens from counting votes in a legal election). When that was deemed unconstitutional, they spent the money to count the votes, showing that 69% of DC supported medical marijuana. So Rep. Barr created the “Barr Amendment” that prevented DC from spending any money to implement the medical marijuana program they had voted in.

    Well, today’s 2010 Appropriations bill changes all that. In addition to removing bans on abortion, domestic partnerships, and needle exchange, Congress has given the go-ahead to begin implementing DC medical marijuana!

    (US Senate) Removing Special Restrictions on the District of Columbia: Eliminates a prohibition on the use of local tax funds for abortion, thereby putting the District in the same position as the 50 states. Also allows the District to implement a referendum on use of marijuana for medical purposes as has been done in other states, allows use of Federal funds for needle exchange programs except in locations considered inappropriate by District authorities, and discontinues a ban on the use of funds in the bill for domestic partnership registration and benefits.

    DC’s medical marijuana bill was written with the same sort of open language as was passed in California… will we be seeing marijuana dispensaries on K Street anytime soon?

    131 responses to “Congress allows DC to implement 1998 medical marijuana law”

    1. Micah says:

      Absolutly Wonderfull.

    2. mr.mike420 says:

      its about damn time!

    3. randy nc says:

      That’s great for D.C. Hopefully they don’t get “late night back doored” again.

    4. Deff Shepard says:

      Wow! So does this mean we will be seeing federally legal medical marijuana?

    5. Joel: The other Joel says:

      The rising of the prohibitionist evil empire has failed again.

    6. Jason says:

      Finally, a vote By the PEOPLE, is being taken back from political self-interest corruption. May those who benefit from MMJ in DC celebrate that they will be able to use their medicine without being labeled a “criminal”. 8)

    7. Chris says:

      Wow, this is really a great step to getting people the medicine that they need. I personally think that this is the govt’s way of tearing down the walls of prohibition quickly, by giving the green light to appropriate funds towards this bill while not getting too much flak from the prohibitionists. This is the beginning of the end folks!

    8. Bryce says:

      This seems like its bigger news than we realize. Is that true? So MedMJ is now legal in DC? Would that be considered a federal “stance” on the issue?

    9. samson says:

      I like how our “represenatives” can legally withhold votes from being included and/or acted upon once counted.? Clearly, their definition of Democracy is not even close to the rest of general society.
      O’ yeah. we are free alright……free to get hood-winked by BIG-brother gov’t.

    10. hockey&Bud says:

      This is fantastic. Hopefully this will start a huge snowball effect. Please let georgia be next!