D.C. To Legalize Pot Tomorrow; GOP Leaders Warn District To Back Off


Washington, D.C., leaders say marijuana possession will become legal in the District at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, while warning that many pot-related activities will remain illegal, including selling the drug, growing it outdoors, possessing it in federally subsidized housing and smoking it anywhere in public, reports the Washington Post. Yesterday, congressional leaders urged Mayor Muriel Bowser to reconsider pot legalization, which they described as a “knowing and willful violation of the law.” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the committee that oversees D.C. legislation, said: “Federal law … confirms that D.C. cannot move forward. If they are under any illusion that this would be legal, they are wrong. And there are very severe consequences for violating this provision. You can go to prison for this. We're not playing a little game here.”

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said police will not make arrests for violations of the prohibitions against smoking and possessing marijuana in federally subsidized public housing. She said federal officers and housing authority police might. More than two dozen federal law enforcement agencies operate in the city and will be bound by federal drug laws that make marijuana possession punishable by up to a year in jail. U.S. Park Police have agreed to enforce federal law on federal property and District law elsewhere. “Knowing your geography is important,” Lanier said.

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