D.C. attorney general calls for new cannabis regulations


Thor Benson / Cannabis News Box Contributor

Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is calling on Congress to allow D.C. to tax and regulate its legal cannabis market. Congress has been blocking D.C. from doing this and the city isn’t allowed to go forward with such changes without Congress’ approval.

“Congress continues to prohibit the District from spending money to enact or carry out any law, rule or regulation to legalize or reduce penalties for marijuana,” Racine wrote for the Washington Post. “Congress has prevented the District from legislating on an issue of importance to our residents and from tackling the racial disparities that persist in marijuana policing and within the burgeoning marijuana industry. We urge Congress to allow the District to determine for itself how to regulate marijuana.”

This issue has caused many in the city to call for D.C. to be given statehood because they’re tired of Congress being in control of what the city is allowed to do. Adam Eidinger, the founder of DCMJ, told Cannabis News Box he thinks it’s time for D.C. to become a state.

“I’m for D.C. statehood mainly because we have been denied our rights as a separate geographic entity for so long,” Eidinger said. “We still have people losing their civil rights due to policies that don’t create a regulated and taxed market for cannabis. There are other issues too, like from there being no interstate commerce under federal law with non-Hemp cannabis being illegal in any form and still a Schedule I drug.”

Eidinger said he’s happy Racine is pushing to change regulations but thinks he needs to do more to actually make this happen. Racine called for criminal records related to cannabis to be expunged in his Washington Post piece, and Eidinger said the city should start moving on that right away.

“There is very little in the way of action on this I have seen in the last 4 years,” Eidinger said. “It’s time for new D.C. Council legislation to address things retroactively and not make expungement so difficult or even something the victims here have to do but is rather done for them.”

Racine’s words are welcome to cannabis advocates, but Eidinger and others think there needs to be more action. D.C. has been putting up with these problems for years and its residents are ready for change. If statehood isn’t going to happen any time soon, advocates at least want Congress to let the city start regulating legal cannabis.