Rep. Andy Harris, the House Republican who could undo a District of Columbia voter referendum to legalize marijuana, has a blunt message for capital residents: If you don't like it, move out. “That's the way the Constitution was written,” he told Politico. “If they don't like that oversight, move outside of the federal district.” Harris, 57, leads a small band of anti-marijuana hardliners who worked to insert language in a must-pass spending bill that attempts to ify a pro-pot referendum approved by 70 percent of voters last month.
The situation leaves Republicans in an awkward position, contradicting their philosophy that the federal government shouldn't meddle in local affairs and out of step with a clear majority of voters who back more liberal marijuana laws. “I believe in more local autonomy on that,” said Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded Kentucky Republican who will likely run for president in 2016. “I think Colorado, the District, most localities should be able to make that decision for themselves.” “Washington, D.C. has a lot to offer,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Ut.). “Recreational marijuana shouldn't be one of them.” The measure was included in a $1.01 trillion spending package that must pass today to avoid a government shutdown