The Law Enforcement Against Prohibition blog just announced that the Senate will be removing the ban that they have had in place against their voters since 1998.
In 1998, the voters of Washington D.C. voted for Initiative 59 to allow medical marijuana. This was challenged by using something known as The Barr Amendment which effectively prohibited D.C. from lowering any penalties on schedule I controlled substances. Not only did it stop the initiative from passing, it disallowed the release of the vote tally information.
Now, 11 years later, voters are finally getting what they asked for. In the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Conference Report: Financial Services Summary, dated December 8th, 2009, under the “Important Policy Items” section, you can find the following:
“Removing Special Restrictions on the District of Columbia: Eliminates a prohibition on the use of local tax funds for abortion, thereby putting the District in the same position as the 50 states. Also allows the District to implement a referendum on use of marijuana for medical purposes as has been done in other states, allows use of Federal funds for needle exchange programs except in locations considered inappropriate by District authorities, and discontinues a ban on the use of funds in the bill for domestic partnership registration and benefits.”
Sounds like things are going to change in D.C. for the better.
Looks like the federal government can’t ignore medical marijuana anymore. This is a huge step in the medical cannabis and cannabis legalization movement as it forces our federal government to be faced with this issue right outside their front doors. Hopefully this will not only help the people of Washington, D.C., but also spark good conversation and reformation for draconian, damaging, and irresponsible laws that currently govern cannabis.
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