In November, 64 percent of DC voters supported Initiative 71, an effort to legalize the possession and cultivation of marijuana in the District of Columbia. As the DC Council prepares to transmit the initiative to Capitol Hill for the outdated and unnecessarily bureaucratic Congressional review process, District residents will find out once again whether  members of Congress are willing to ignore democracy when it comes to the 650,000 American citizens who live in the shadow of the capitol.  

Already, members of the House of Representatives are preparing to attack the District’s local law:

“I will consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action.” – Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)

“[W]hen I was the chairman of the D.C. subcommittee, I didn’t meddle in their affairs. This is a little different, when you take something that is on its face against federal law and say that we’re going to supersede it … I wouldn’t support that effort if a state did it.” –Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) forgetting the four states that have also legalized marijuana.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) outright refused to do anything to prevent this abortion of justice, admitting that when it comes to members of Congress forcing their personal opinions on DC residents “it’s all on the table” during the appropriations process.

Thankfully, a number of members of Congress from both parties are standing up for the rights of District residents, speaking out against Congress meddling in local affairs:

“I think there should be a certain amount of discretion for both states and territories and the District, you know [. . .] I’m not for having the federal government get involved.” –Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

“The fundamental principles are individual liberty, which Republicans have always talked about; limited government, which Republicans have always talked about; the doctor-patient relationship, which, of course, we have been stressing a lot about lately; and of course, states’ rights,” – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

Still others in Congress are taking little interest in efforts to overturn the initiative vote, providing more evidence that  a jurisdiction’s local laws are not a concern of many on Capitol Hill.

“To be honest, that’s pretty far down my list of priorities,” - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

“I haven’t given it one thought,” - Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

“[I’m] focused on other things,” - Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

As we fight to stop any attempt from Congress to overturn the District’s local laws, we will remind the constituents of those seeking to ignore democracy that instead of focusing on national issues – or matters that may have an impact on their home district -- they are using their power to attack American citizens in a local jurisdictions that did not elect them.


 [d1]Should be at margin

Budget Autonomy

Comments

Why am I having a “Mudsill Speech” flashback? I mean, why doesn’t Congressman Andy “James Henry Hammond”, I mean Harris, feel that the good citizens of the District of Columbia are capable of governing themselves? We folks here in DC just aren’t intelligent enough as the rest of the country to figure out our own destiny? Good thing we have Andy Harris to save us from ourselves. Shocking that a Republican Congressman from a district whose majority is over 45 yrs. old and 85% white, knows what’s good for us folks here in the District, since we too simple to decide for ourselves. Good thing we have our overseer, Congressman Harris and his “Master” plan for “oversight about what happens in the federal district.” We sure um need some help boss. But then I got to thinking, “why is someone from the Eastern shore so concerned about DC citizens smoking pot? Why is he so concerned about a constituency that is not his nor voted for him? What is it to him? Well, that’s easy, money. One of the top lobbying groups fighting the legalization of marijuana is the medical/pharmaceutical industry. Seems the industry is fearful of the lost revenue from “substance abuse patients” at treatment centers and the pharmaceutical/medical impact. So, guess what industry gave Andy half of his top 10 campaign contributions? MEDICAL! (Plus the Koch brothers and citizens united) Shocked? But then, many of you may say, “He IS an anesthesiologist. He IS a Dr.” But where? In Houston? Andy Harris’s top campaign contributor was “Greater Houston Anesthesiology” for $24,600. This company PARTNERED with Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, an investment firm specializing in medical portfolios, and FOUNDED the US of US Anesthesia Partners. Note that WCAS is an investment firm that focuses specifically on “Healthcare portfolios” and includes “Springstone”, a substance abuse center, “Atpuit” a pharmaceutical drug service and several other medical facilities and hospitals are their clients. In other words, Andy Harris isn’t worried about the people of Maryland or the people of DC smoking pot. What Congressman Andy Harris is worried about is the MONEY and having to go back and report to his contributors , “Houston, we have a problem.”

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