Obama to Congress: Hands Off D.C.’s Marijuana Policy
Posted at 7:46 p.m. on July 14, 2014
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., opposes an effort by the House GOP to nix the District’s attempt to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The White House has a message for Congress — hands off the District of Columbia, including its new law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.
Buried in a broadly worded veto threat of the Financial Services appropriations bill, the administration said Monday it “strongly opposes” language restricting the District’s ability to spend its own money on a host of issues, including implementing marijuana policy and abortions.
“The Administration strongly opposes the language in the bill preventing the District from using its own local funds to carry out locally-passed marijuana policies, which again undermines the principles of States’ rights and of District home rule,” the administration said. “Furthermore, the language poses legal challenges to the Metropolitan Police Department’s enforcement of all marijuana laws currently in force in the District.”
The House GOP pushed through the marijuana provision in committee, led by Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland.
The amendment prompted David Catania, a City Councilman running for mayor as an independent, to storm Harris’ office.
The overall veto threat was of the weaker “advisors would recommend” variety.
“The bill impedes implementation of the Affordable Care Act, undermines critical components of Wall Street reform, and fails to provide the resources necessary to provide robust taxpayer services and improve tax enforcement. Further, the legislation includes ideological and political provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation,” the administration said.