The D.C. City Council has been ordered not to use funds to develop a network for marijuana in the district and to abandon plans to hold a hearing about marijuana, under threat of jail time and fines, according to the Daily Caller. According to D.C Attorney General Karl A. Racine, these meetings would violate both civil and criminal codes.
D.C voters were overjoyed when the bill to legalise marijuana passed last year, but were disappointed when congress moved to stop the city from introducing a regulatory framework.
The battle between Congress and the council will continue through the month of February. Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug policy has not explicitly come out in favour of legalization but has said “I do agree with our own ability to spend our money the way that we want to.”
The battle between Congress and the council will continue to develop throughout February. On Friday, Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and District of Columbia resident, added more fuel to the fire, although he didn’t explicitly come out in favor of legalization. Botticelli is expected to be confirmed as U.S. drug czar on Monday by the Senate at 5:30 p.m., and according to the law, the czar must oppose marijuana.
“The drug czar’s support for local legalization in the nation’s capital is both surprising and welcome,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority. “Even if he personally disagrees with ending prohibition, it’s great to see the head of this office in particular saying that he thinks the federal government shouldn’t stand in the way of the huge majority of D.C. voters who want a new direction for marijuana policy.”
A number of officials from the Obama administration have come out in support of marijuana, arguing for the effectiveness of medical marijuana. It seems that politicians are starting to understand the benefits of marijuana, with 70% of the democratic party being in favour of it.
The council will soon hold an informal discussion with congress to avoid being charged with contempt. The battle is largely between the democratic Obama administration and congress, dominated by republicans.
It is hard to know how the republicans will react, but we can only hope that this is a step towards, not away from the legalisation of marijuana.