President Barack Obama’s $4 trillion federal budget plan might be the districts last hope for a widespread legalization, unfortunately it also included a lot of negative points on the topic. Even basic wording throughout the budget such as “federal” may thwart congressional Republicans trying to block marijuana legalization in DC, allowing the cities local government to move ahead with regulations that will control and tax recreational Marijuana. The bill also demonstrates support for D.C. to spend its local funds however they choose and without politically motivated interference. At the very least House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California favors allowing D.C.’s new marijuana law to move forward along with D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.
“It is very much consistent with the administration’s stance that marijuana policy is a state’s rights issue and his statements in support of D.C. being able determine its local laws,” says Dr. Malik Burnett, Drug Policy Alliance and vice chairman of the D.C. Cannabis Campaign.
With the amount of support that the proposed amendment got by Washingtonians during the November ballot it looks like the local government can handle the logistics of the bill just fine. Marijuana could be deemed as legal on a state level but federally it will still be illegal. This is a matter that will be decided by the federal funding that will or will not be backing the proposed recreational use of the substance throughout the Washington D.C. area. Luckily Obama is not opposed to making sure that the federal government doesn’t interfere with laws on a state level. It will take a total of 30 days for congress to review the proposed budget so for the sake of the District hopefully they can come to a consensus on the subject.