The House advanced a budget resolution Thursday that says marijuana can't be sold for two more years in Washington, D.C. The vote comes on the heels of several maneuvers in the legislative body to protect medical marijuana laws in the states, including a measure that instructs the Drug Enforcement Administration not to target state medical marijuana dispensaries.
The House budget resolution seeks to delay a measure championed by D.C. voters. The marijuana legalization law was approved in the November midterm elections. Under the law, residents can grow and possess pot in their homes, but can’t smoke it outside. Marijuana shops are banned.
In the immediate aftermath of the legalization measure, Republicans in Congress flirted with the idea of limiting D.C.’s ability to implement the law through the appropriations process. But ultimately the law was implemented.
“I’m pleasantly surprised that the rider that they did include was not more restrictive,” Dan Riffle, director of Federal Policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, told the Washington Times. “I fully expected them to include tougher language explicitly naming the law in the language of the rider.”
In recent years, the number of Americans who approve of legalizing marijuana jumped ahead of those that disapprove. A Pew survey indicates that 53 percent of Americans are pro-pot, while 44 percent aren’t fans of legalization. Millennials are much more excited about the process, with 68 percent in that age group showing support.
D.C. is in the company of four states that have legalized weed. Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon have all approved, or implemented, legalization measures.