DC Sees Loophole in Congress’s Move to Halt MJ Law
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DC Sees Loophole in Congress’s Move to Halt MJ Law
Posted by CN Staff on February 07, 2015 at 18:52:26 PT
By Jennifer Steinhauer
Source: New York Times 
Washington, D.C. -- Last fall, voters in the District of Columbia chose to join a handful of states in legalizing the growth and possession of small amounts of marijuana. But unlike in the states, the free will of district voters — no matter how overwhelmingly expressed — is never the end of the story.Congressional Republicans believe they have successfully nullified the law. But officials here, seizing on a single word in the congressional legislation designed to scuttle the policy, beg to differ, setting up one of the most closely watched collisions between the two Washingtons in years.
A few weeks after the marijuana ballot initiative passed, House Republicans inserted a last-minute provision into a large federal spending bill prohibiting the city, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, from spending tax dollars to enact that initiative.Usually that is the last word. But district officials believe they have identified a loophole in the provision’s language. The marijuana law, lawyers here argue, had already been enacted and certified by the Board of Elections before Congress passed the spending bill, so there was no “enacting” for the House to prevent.“The issue becomes: What does enactment mean?” said David Zvenyach the city’s general counsel. Like other officials here, he believes that the city got ahead of Congress in enacting its law, which it intends to start carrying out this spring.“Their language was either careless or hasty,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the district’s nonvoting delegate to the House. “If you are working on an amendment to an appropriation bill, you better be really careful. They say we shan’t enact. Well, we don’t have to enact anything.”Under federal law, when the District Council passes legislation or voters pass a measure in a referendum, the city must submit it to Congress for the final O.K. Formal disapproval of a law is rare and somewhat involved; when Congress wants to influence city affairs, it tends to do so through amendments to unrelated legislation like the spending bill.A formal disapproval would require a joint congressional resolution signed by the president, something that has happened only three times since the city was granted home rule in 1973. Congress has until March to officially disapprove the city’s marijuana law; if it declines, according to officials here, they will consider the law on the books.From the point of view of House Republicans, formal disapproval is not needed, because Congress has already spoken. “We feel that we have disposed of this issue,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which controls a vast array of the city’s affairs. “We passed a bill, it was signed into law, and the congressional intent was clear.”Mr. Chaffetz, a spirited defender of states’ rights, said he saw the issue differently from those supporting the will of local government. “Washington, D.C., is not a state,” he said, adding, “I just don’t think that Washington, D.C., should be a haven for smoking pot.”While Washington is often out front on progressive policy initiatives, it is not the leader on marijuana. Colorado, Washington State, Oregon and Alaska have passed laws legalizing its recreational use, and more than 20 states allow marijuana use for medical purposes. This city, like many states, has also decriminalized possession of low amounts of the drug, treating it as a civil infraction. The legalization measure imposed a two-ounce limit for personal use — similar to that in other states, but less than Oregon’s eight-ounce limit.The District of Columbia law does not permit retail sales, but allows home cultivation.“That’s important,” said Robert Mikos, a law professor at Vanderbilt University and an expert on drug laws. “That is consistent with conservative norms because it is about privacy and autonomy over your own house. But it is important to recognize that it is hard to control home cultivation.”Further, while some Republicans have argued that the district measure runs afoul of federal drug laws, states are not required under the Constitution to enforce those laws, which is the basis of state decriminalization statutes.Even if Washington goes forward with its new law, Congress has other means for peeling it back. Through policy riders, it has stopped a needle-exchange program intended to limit the spread of AIDS among heroin users and prevented the district from using its own money to help fund abortions for poor women, among other things.“This is a rare victory, and it may be a temporary one,” Ms. Norton said of the discovery of the loophole.Or, there is always a lawsuit to file.“My guess is if the Council tries to move forward that some district resident who opposed marijuana legalization will sue and the federal courts will then decide,” said Garry Young, the director of the George Washington Institute of Public Policy.But while congressional Republicans are waiting to see what the district does, Ms. Norton and other elected officials here are pretty much daring them to move next. “If the Republicans think they can change this, let them try it,” she said. “They don’t want to deal with this. The wave is in our favor. Four states have done major marijuana reform.”The city’s new Democratic mayor, Muriel Bowser, seems equally poised to defend the voters’ prerogative. “Our goal is to ensure that the voices of D.C. voters are heard,” her spokesman, Michael Czin, said in an email. “We are working to implement the initiative in a thoughtful, responsible way.”A version of this article appears in print on February 8, 2015, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: District of Columbia Sees Loophole in Congress’s Move to Halt Marijuana Law. Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Jennifer SteinhauerPublished: February 8, 2015Copyright: 2015 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on February 09, 2015 at 09:25:02 PT
Bob Marley's Birthday
What a fitting bit of serendipity.So sorry it took so long, Mr. Marley. So sorry.But... it's happening. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 08, 2015 at 09:38:35 PT
Jamaica Passes Landmark Marijuana Law 
Jamaica Passes Landmark Marijuana Law On The 70th Birthday Of Bob MarleyURL:
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Comment #4 posted by Garry Minor on February 08, 2015 at 04:44:46 PT:
The GCW: The Chrism
Stan;Thanks again for daring to Speak The Biblical Truth in this world of lies and distractions!Worth repeating!Imagine if the so called "Christian" churches of the world were aware that in Exodus 30:22-25 God instructed Moses to use 250 shekels of Kaneh Bosm, Cannabis in the Holy Anointing Oil, Chrism to initiate His priests, kings, prophets, and, as it turns out, His Christians, literally Anointed Ones?A different world?How amazing is it that almost 2000 years after Christ, Sula Benet discovered the translation error?How amazing is it that a few years later the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Library were found, bringing a different view of early Christianity and the necessity of the Mystical Chrism in becoming a Christian?How amazing is it that Cannabis has so many miraculous medicinal benefits and so much more?How amazing is it that the Bible actually warns those with the Spirit of Truth of the antichrist, literally; opposite of, opposed to or against, Anointed? 1John 2:18-2918 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.How amazing is it that in these troubled times the Spirit of Truth is revealing that the institution and foundation of the worlds "Christian" churches are indeed .... antichrist?No horns or fangs, just ignorant of the Truth!How amazing is it that when you give this information to a pastor, priest, mayor, politician, lawyer, doctor, policeman, business leader, newspaper, etc., etc., ....... they ignore it?How amazing is it that these same people will watch their congregations, patients, citizens and friends suffer and die of cancer, Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury, etc., because they won't or can't accept the simple Truth?Welcome to Columbus Indiana! Athens of the prairie, different by design, unexpected, unforgettable, blah blah blah!Great architecture, but;People with eyes but can't see, ears but can't hear, and, hearts that don't understand.True is True!John baptized with water. Jesus baptized with Fire and the Holy Spirit.It is through water and fire that the whole place is purified - the visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. There are some things hidden through those visible. There is water in water, there is fire in chrism. Gospel of PhilipThe leaves of the Tree are for the healing of nations.Coincidence?
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 08, 2015 at 04:38:44 PT
Thank you for all you do!
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on February 07, 2015 at 21:49:49 PT
To paraphrase:
To paraphrase:US GA: PUB LTE: Luciferous Pot Bans Tue, 21 Jan 2014, Source: Macon Telegraph (GA)-0-It has come to My mind, one of the important things the Christ was here for is to teach Us of the "spirit of truth" which teaches Us all things.One example benefit of the spirit of truth is the ability to expose who does not have and can not receive the spirit of truth.It is a God-awesome blessing to understand how to know who does not and can not receive the spirit of truth. Cannabis prohibition, being the devil law, is a Luciferous tool used to separate people from the ability to receive the the spirit of truth, which is arguably the most important thing We can receive during Our lives here on earth.It may be the only reason We are here.To receive the spirit of truth, is the reason We are here.It's important to repeat that.The reason We are here is to receive the "spirit of truth."The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 07, 2015 at 21:29:00 PT
Cannabis prohibition is hatred. 
When it's all done, cannabis will be RE-legalized in D.C. and the entire U.S. except for perhaps a few locations where the hateful fester. Between here and there, will be many opportunities to observe good and evil.The cannabis issue has Republicans expose the nucleus of darkness like in no other arena. The Christ requests that We love one another.Cannabis prohibition, extermination and discrimination is an act of hate.We have been told beforehand on literally the very 1st page, He created all the seed bearing plants saying they're all good, for not just Us but all creatures. From the beginning, We either love or We hate, starting right there.The accumulated unfettered Luciferous degree of hate energizing cannabis prohibition is inarguable. The effort and resources Republicans use in D.C., to prohibit citizens from using food which God created to be gratefully shared by those who know the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-4), is not the last act. In the last act, THE KING OF THE PLANT KINGDOM remains.Where does that leave Republicans?
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