While congress is, in all intents and purposes, appearing to be stepping back and allowing the states to do their thing with marijuana, its attitude toward the District of Columbia may be a different story. In the latest spending bill they included a rider aimed at blocking marijuana legalization in Washington, D.C. But D.C. and its new mayor are fighting back.
Protests and a last-minute scramble to turn the tide in Congress were underway Wednesday morning as activists and D.C. officials sought to fight back against a federal budget deal poised to upend the city’s voter-approved measure to legalize marijuana. Two paragraphs tucked into the 1,600-page agreement released Tuesday night would preclude D.C. from enacting any measures weakening federal drug laws in the District.
The D.C. Council unanimously approved legislation today that will require all attorneys, hearing officers, and administrative law judges who perform legal duties for the District government to file an annual “Certificate of Good Standing” with the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability by Dec. 15. At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange, chair of the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, introduced the measure “to prevent the unethical practice of law without a bar license,” he said in a press release.
After all, D.C. without the mayor-for-life was unthinkable, so I didn’t think it’d ever come to pass. He’d been shot, arrested, overused drugs and booze, and elected to office (which can’t be good for your health) more or less every four years since the District got Home Rule, and he was still around. Love Barry or hate him—and a lot of people in D.C. did one or the other, if not both—but you couldn’t ever count him out.