In 2015, the residents of the District of Columbia voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The results of this vote should have brought much change in the District.
Marijuana advocates believed that the citizens of D.C. had finally had their voices heard. Over a year has passed since that vote. While marijuana is legal to possess, unfortunately, it remains illegal to sell.
Moreover, many D.C. residents who live in federally funded housing cannot possess marijuana without repercussions. Recently, the D.C. Council voted to impose a permanent ban on marijuana clubs.
This action demonstrates that the D.C. government is not faithful towards following the will of the people.
The vote to ban marijuana clubs in the District was a close vote.
According to Ryan McDermott, “In a 7-to-6 vote, the council made permanent a 90-day ban on pot clubs in the nation’s capital, where marijuana possession is legal though still a federal offense” (1). While the result of this vote is disheartening, the closeness of the vote should encourage D.C. residents that changes to this law will be made.
Almost half of the D.C. Council’s representatives stood their ground and challenged the authority of Congress to meddle in D.C.’s affairs.
Since half of the Council members had the audacity to stand up to the Republican-controlled Congress, the amount of Council members who will stand up to Congress’s after next election should increase.
The ban of marijuana clubs is egregiously disrespectful to the residents of D.C. For years, D.C. has fought for independence from the federal government. In fact, D.C. license plates display the colonial American phrase “Taxation without Representation.”
According to Kaitlyn Boecker, “In spite of all the talk of promoting District autonomy and control over local affairs, today’s vote suggests that council members would prefer to hide behind congressional authority to deflect their responsibilities, rather than do the work of legislating themselves” (1). This vote is the latest example of the federal government’s oppression of D.C. residents.
In the meantime, D.C. voters should write the Council members. If more voters show their dissatisfaction with the result of the ban, the Council members may change their minds. Fortunately, politicians, especially local politicians, can be pressured by public demands.
However, D.C. residents should not forget the results of this vote. Next election, Mayor Bowser and all others who have impeded the process of legalization should be voted out of office. Clearly, the politicians who neglected the will of D.C. residents are not in touch with Twenty-first-century American politics.
McDermott, Ryan. “COUNCIL IMPOSES PERMANENT BAN ON PRIVATE MARIJUANA CLUBS.” Norml. MapinDC, 20 Apr. 2016. Web, 25 Apr. 2016. http://www.mapinc.org/norml/v16/n266/a02.html