A day after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was reelected, becoming the first D.C. Mayor to be re-elected in 16 years, the mayor said that she plans to
Marijuana use was legalized in D.C. in 2015, but the Congress didn’t allow the regularization of marijuana sales in the city.
Bowser said the Democrats taking control of the House in Tuesday’s elections presents a new opportunity for Congress to approve marijuana sale in the district.
“We have the ability to possess marijuana but no legal way to buy marijuana. As long as we have the ability to possess marijuana, which is our law, we also need the ability to procure marijuana legally. Which we don’t have now,” said Bowser.
The Mayor will be submitting a full bill legalizing marijuana in the district to the D.C. Council early next year. “We will prepare a tax and regulate scheme to present to the Council at the beginning of the year,” Bowser said in a press conference.
In the past three years, D.C. Police has raided many parties where marijuana was sold illegally. The arrests from the pot parties have tripled in the district. In January this year, over a dozen people were arrested at a pot party from a nightclub in D.C. where free marijuana worth $400 packed in tube socks pairs was sold.
Presently the D.C. law allows marijuana to be consumed in private homes only. It’s illegal to smoke or consume marijuana in any public space in the district.
D.C. Council can approve the sale of marijuana in the district but the final decision rests with the Congress which has the authority to overrule local D.C. laws.
Queen Adesuyi, policy coordinator with Drug Policy Alliance said that the Alliance will work with the Congress to get the rider removed that has unfairly forced D.C. residents to operate within a grey marijuana market for far too long.
“The District is unique in that it was one of the first legalization efforts grounded in racial and criminal justice. We plan to work with the District to enact marijuana legalization with that lens as promised throughout the campaign,” said Adesuyi.