Obama Admin Against Republican Weed Policy
Last month an amendment was introduced to prevent the District of Colombia from decriminalizing marijuana. Andy Harris, Republican Representative of Maryland, aims to prohibit the use of funds geared towards the decriminalization of the cannabis plant. However, the Obama Administration said in a statement released on Monday, July 14th, 2014, that decision to take away criminal penalties regarding possessing small amounts of marijuana is a “states’ rights” issue and should not be interfered with. “The Administration strongly opposes the language in the bill preventing the District from using its own local funds to carry out locally- passed marijuana policies, which again undermines the principles of States’ rights and of District home rule. Furthermore, the language poses legal challenges to the Metropolitan Police Department’s enforcement of all marijuana laws currently in force in the District.”
The District of Colombia's decriminalization law is said to go into effect today. But still, people are expecting House Republicans to want to include Harris' amendment in there somewhere. Though there is some doubt, Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, looks at the bright side. "It is great to see the White House accepting that a majority of Americans want marijuana law reform and defending the right of D.C. and states to set their own marijuana policy. The tide has clearly shifted against the failed war on drugs and it’s only a matter of time before federal law is changed."