February 9, 2015

D.C. Council Abandons Marijuana Hearing After Warning From AG

February 9, 2015

washington dc council marijuanaThe Washington D.C. Council was supposed to hold a hearing today about taxing and regulating marijuana. However, that scheduled hearing didn’t happen after Council members abandoned the hearing per the directive of D.C.’s Attorney General. D.C.’s Attorney General warned that such a hearing would be against the law. Per the Washington Post:

New D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine warned the D.C. Council not to hold the planned hearing Monday. Doing so, Racine said in a letter to the council late last week, would violate a spending prohibition placed on the city by Congress to not move forward with setting up a regulatory scheme for sales of the plant.

Racine said holding a hearing could put city lawmakers and their staffers who help conduct the hearing in jeopardy of fines up to $5,000 each and potentially even jail terms of two years.

As the meeting was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) instead met with heads of three other committees that were scheduled to participate in the hearing. They emerged saying they would cancel the hearing on the bill and ask the dozens of assembled witnesses to participate in an informal roundtable discussion on the topic so to not risk being in contempt of Congress.

The showdown in D.C. continues. I’m curious to see what happens during an ‘informal roundtable discussion.’ I can’t find any report as to when such a roundtable discussion would occur. Until then, I will keep my eyes on D.C. and sit and wait, along with the rest of the country. It’s great that D.C. has provisions ready to to be implemented for cultivation and possession, but I dream of day when there are marijuana stores in D.C. where people can make legal purchases. I’m sure everyone else is with me.


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