Democrats Quietly Refuse to Support D.C. Legalization Measures
December 9th, 2014
Policy, Top News
Congress may be looking to block Washington D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative, according to a report from the Huffington Post. Despite 70% of voters showing support for such a measure, congressional Democrats are rumored to be cutting a deal with Republicans to save-face by claiming that they protected the District’s marijuana decriminalization law but failed to protect legalization.
“Democrats had the opportunity to protect the will of the voters in D.C. and they have decided to cut a deal in an effort to protect decriminalization,” said Dr. Malik Burnett of the Drug Policy Alliance to the Huffington Post. “D.C. voters chose to reform their marijuana laws, which have a direct impact on how communities of color interact with the police. Congress is poised to undermine that.”
The D.C. Cannabis Campaign – the group responsible for passing the measure – cited statistics showing that 9 out of 10 people arrested for drug offenses in Washington D.C. were black, despite the fact that blacks make up just slightly more than half of the city’s population. In addition, the government’s own surveys showed that blacks are no more likely than whites to use the drug – suggesting an extreme bias.
Prior to the leak from the Drug Policy Alliance, many experts had predicted that congressional leaders were too busy to worry about legalization in the capitol. Regulators could also find it difficult to actually block the measures, since they only have control over funding and not implementation. If the measure could be implemented without cost, then there might be nothing they could do to stop it.
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