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Stop House committee efforts to block D.C. marijuana decriminalization

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From 1987 to 2002, I lived in Washington, D.C., before moving to Maryland and now Virginia. I did so despite D.C.’s being the colonized land of taxation without federal representation.

Part of the colonization of D.C. is that its legislation can be trumped by Congress, which for many years stalled D.C.’s medical marijuana referendum from taking effect.

Now, this week the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has slipped into a spending bill a halt to D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization bill.

Congress’s rules must change so that Congressional efforts against D.C.’s democratic will are handled head-on, and not through slipping such opposition into unrelated federal legislation.

Ironically, the sponsor of the House Appropriations Committee’s action against D.C. marijuana decriminalization is Maryland’s Andy Harris, whose own neighboring state this year passed an even more liberal marijuana decriminalization law, which is more liberal by not banning public smoking of marijuana.

It is time for the House to reject this committee effort against D.C.’s democratic will with marijuana decriminalization, and for the Senate and President Obama to join in that rejection. Whether or not one opposes marijuana decriminalization, this matter is about respecting the democratic will of the District of Columbia, which has suffered colonization for over two centuries.