By srs | January 22, 2018
You probably know that DC is one of the jurisdictions that has legalized medicinal marijuana and decriminalized small amounts of weed. But did you know that the federal government has blocked us from taxing and regulating cannabis here?
It's true. As the cannabis community gathers in Washington DC for the festival in April, it's important to keep in mind that you will be entering a zone of inequality and injustice. The feds can block DC from doing what California, Oregon and Washington state have accomplished with the marijuana policies in their states, because DC is not a state. Congress “oversees” all our laws and they can impose their political will on the people of DC- regardless of what DC voters actually want.
Get this: DC voters approved an initiative to legalize medicinal marijuana in 1998, one of the first places to do so. But Congress blocked the implementation for 12 years. Their delay tactics included a Congressperson from Georgia prohibiting the initiative votes from even being counted.
DC's sensible cannabis laws have come a long way since then. But now Congress has blocked DC’s locally elected officials from using locally raised public funds to tax and regulate marijuana. Ignoring the will of DC voters, yet again.
That’s where DC Vote comes in. The best way to end Congress’ oversight of local DC laws is for DC to become a state, and that's why we organize for DC Statehood. Congress interferes with local DC laws regularly – they’ve worked to limit DC women’s reproductive choices, weakened our local gun safety laws, have put limits on protections for the LGBTQ community, and have even meddled with protections for our local sewage treatment workers!
And the people of DC have no voting member of Congress to represent us. No Senators. While we have a Delegate in the House, she can’t vote on legislation. Close to 700,000 people call DC home, but are shut out of fully and equally participating in our own government.
Think this is messed up? Un-American, even? Join our campaign to end this injustice. Click here to fill out the form and send an email to your Representatives about supporting DC Statehood. And check DC Vote out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Together, we are all stronger. The voters of DC support sensible cannabis regulation. The more jurisdictions that have sensible marijuana laws in place, the more normalized and safe it becomes for everyone.
(This blog post was written as part of DC Vote's Advocacy Partnership with the National Cannabis Festival. You can view the post on their site here: https://nationalcannabisfestival.com/news/2018/1/17/what-does-weed-have-to-do-with-dc-becoming-a-state)