Congress blocks Washington, D.C. from legalizing cannabis sales


Congress passed a government funding bill recently, and it included a Republican-backed ban on Washington, D.C. legalizing cannabis sales
despite the fact D.C. residents want sales legalized. This has been a problem for the city due to the fact Congress controls what it’s allowed to do. Some Democrats commented on the issue and expressed disapproval.

“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,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said. “Republicans were the ones who insisted. They were ready to shut down the government.”

Adam Eidinger, a cannabis activist in Washington, D.C., told Cannabis News Box that he’s not surprised that Congress continues to prevent D.C. from legalizing cannabis sales.

“I didn’t think Congress would pass budget even and we would be stuck with continuing resolutions with the Harris rider, but Democrats it turns out have no gumption when it comes to selling out D.C/ to make a deal the GOP would accept,” Eidinger said.

Eidinger said that 99 percent of the blame for this relies with Republicans because the party is “hostile to cannabis reform” and has been blocking reforms for some time. He said one of the problems is that Democrats, thanks to the filibuster, can’t do everything they might want to do with
such a small majority.

“The Democrats took the issue as far as they could considering the minuscule majority they have. We really need 2/3rds of the Senate it seems to get the reforms we want, including ending the Harris rider. It’s minority rule until then,” Eidinger said.

Protesting might be a way to move the needle, Eidinger said, but he said many people seem to be fine with the status quo. He said D.C. should be collecting tax revenue from all cannabis sales, but that’s not currently the case. Until cannabis sales are legalized, residents will likely continue to rely on the black market.

“Congress denies us statehood or even autonomy over our laws and we get screwed by being denied basic democracy,” Eidinger said.

Most D.C. residents want the city to become a state because then it could control its own policies and do the things it wants to do on its own.