Obama Budget Would Let D.C. Proceed With Pot Legalization, Sales

President Obama’s $4 trillion budget plan would allow the District to spend its own tax dollars to legalize and regulate marijuana by rolling back restrictions put in place by Republican lawmakers last year.

Congress passed a spending bill in December that blocks the District from spending any money — either federal or local tax dollars — to enact legislation that would legalize or reduce penalties associated with the recreational use of marijuana or any other Schedule 1 drugs.

The congressional action leaves the District in the lurch. City residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November but lawmakers have yet to adopt a regulatory scheme that would allow its sale and taxation.

The president’s fiscal 2016 plan, released Monday, frees up the possibility that city lawmakers could use local funds beginning in October to pay for the legalization and regulation of marijuana. President Obama’s plan slightly alters the wording in the congressional spending bill to restrict the District only from using “federal funds” to enact laws legalizing pot.

With both houses of Congress led by Republicans, President Obama’s budget faces an uphill battle. But marijuana legalization and local democracy advocates hope increased support nationwide for marijuana decriminalization and legalization will make federal lawmakers think twice about altering that portion of the proposal.

– Read the entire article at The Washington Times.