US (DC): Lawmakers demand congress end local cannabis sales prohibition as part of 2023 spending bill

Washington, D.C. lawmakers are demanding that congressional leaders finally remove a provision from an annual spending bill this year that has blocked the District from implementing a commercial, adult-use cannabis market.

In letters to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, with President Joe Biden CCed, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, and seven of their colleagues wrote that Congress must exclude the rider from the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations legislation so that the District can fulfill the will of voters who approved a legalization initiative in 2014.

Despite that vote to legalize low-level possession and home cultivation, D.C. has been consistently barred from using its local tax dollars to create a regulated cannabis market under a rider that’s been annually renewed since being sponsored by prohibitionist Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD).

The provision has “effectively undercut the will of the voting residents in our city who have strongly supported legalizing adult-use cannabis for many years,” the identical House and Senate letters say. “We are calling on you to take a strong stand against this intrusion into our local government and remove this misguided rider during the budget process this year.”

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