Medical Marijuana on the Way in D.C.

Medical marijuana could be legalized in D.C. if a giant government funding bill passes Congress. House and Senate conferees have come up with a compromise conference agreement that would provide funding for most federal departments and agencies. But unlike past years, there is no provision that would prevent D.C. from legalizing medical marijuana.

In 1998, D.C. voters approved a referendum that would allow the possession of and usage of medical marijuana. Republicans in Congress swiftly blocked the referendum by placing a provision in funding bills that prevents D.C. from enforcing or implementing the law. That provision has appeared each year until this year’s funding bill.

The conference agreement must be adopted by the full House and the full Senate. Neither chamber can amend the bill; it’s a straight up-or-down vote.

The bill would also allow D.C. to begin a needle exchange program, as well as to use local funding to help low-income women receive abortions.

It’s that last provision that’s going to make passage trickier than usual. Activists on both side of the issue are lining up and squawking. The Post notes that 35 Republican Senators have already informed the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, that they will do whatever they can to block passage of a bill that alters current abortion policy.

It’s not clear sailing for D.C. and its medical marijuana users yet, but D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said that “this is a great triumph for the District…[I]t will be hard to take this one out. We’re almost home free.”

– Article from NBC Washington.



  1. Anonymous on

    So if voters approve a law , Congress can block by making it impossible to enforce or implement the law?

    So then tell me how this is “government by the people, for the people”???

  2. Dan-o on

    This might pass. The government LOVES a good spending bill almost as much as they like a new tax bill. With this attached to a spending bill with plenty of room for pork…it very well may pass.

  3. wiscoskunk on

    yea thats not gona pass. Hey lets attach this on the bottom of the bill as if its not a touchy political tabboo subject as it is with medical cannabis. lets put ” as well as to use local funding to help low-income women receive abortions” on the bill, that should get it passed , Com ON Son.
    im pro choice but dam i dont think its gona happen, one step at a time why they throw all other attachments on the bottom why. One step at a time