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March 13, 2022

Congress Knows Best: Lawmakers Override Voters

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
2019: US grounds all Boeing 737 Max aircraft after bans by others countries following the plane type’s second crash in Ethiopia.

Congress passed a ban on marijuana sales in Washington, D.C., despite opposition from critics who say the measure overrides American residents after they voted to legalize marijuana.

The Harris Rider, named after its main proponent, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), passed through the House and Senate as part of a larger $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package.

“We don’t like the fact it’s there. But it was a choice between providing D.C. and the American people with funding for their big priorities and still having them and not having them,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

“Republicans were the ones who insisted. They were ready to shut down the government,” Van Hollen said.

According to The Hill, Congress has blocked the district from adhering to the will of the voters in each annual spending package since 2014.

Last week, Harris voiced strong opposition to the prospect of the rider not being included in the package. At the time, he said he didn’t know if it would be in the final bill because he hadn’t “been following it.”

“It’s a shame for the citizens of D.C. I mean, there’s more and more evidence that recreational marijuana is not a good idea,” Harris said.

Legalization advocates pointed to a November Gallup poll showing that 68% of respondents — a record — support legalizing marijuana nationally, including 83% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 50% of Republicans. 

“I’m surprised and deeply disappointed by both the House and Senate’s inability to negotiate on behalf of Washingtonians, especially on one of the most bipartisan issues in the country,” said Queen Adesuyi, senior national policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance.

Under the Harris rider, Washington, D.C., residents can grow and consume cannabis, but they cannot buy or sell it. Marijuana businesses use a loophole in the law to “gift” weed to customers while bundling it with another product or service, creating a gray market that D.C. cannot tax or regulate. 

U.S. Cannabis Council CEO Steven Hawkins said the rider has “created a harmful underground market that operates without any standards or safeguards and is at odds with the will of local voters.”


Source:

Congress overrides DC voters, keeps sales of marijuana illegal in District

6 comments on Congress Knows Best: Lawmakers Override Voters

  1. Grizz Mann says:

    C’mon man! Everyone knows voters are too stupid to understand what is best for themselves. Just ask Quid Pro Joe..

  2. Paul says:

    It was not against the will of the voters…it was against poll respondents!

  3. Rat Wrangler says:

    It’s a plant! We need to treat it like one. We regulate tobacco based on age, so we should do the same with marijuana. The only reason tobacco is such a health problem in the US is because our authorities refuse to uphold laws regarding it. Studies show that 85% of cigarette smokers start before they are 18 years old, and in most of the US, they are breaking the law when they do that. Other studies show that, if a person does not start smoking before they are adults, they are far less likely to take it up. If we cracked down on underage smoking, and criminally charged people for providing cigarettes or vaping materials to the young, and do the same with legal marijuana, we could solve two problems at once, and please the majority of Americans.

  4. Dwayne Oxford says:

    FREEDOM!!
    Genesis 1:29
    And God said, Behold, I have given you every, EVERY!! herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and(also)every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

  5. wboehmer says:

    Don’t try to blame the health problems associated with tobacco on “authorities.” People have known about tobacco since the 1960s and still they keep using it and young people still start using it.

    1. I believe that every one should smoke. If we do not encourage it we will be up to our ass in old people.

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