Congress Overrides DC Voters, Keeps Sales of Marijuana Illegal in District

A GOP-backed ban on weed sales in Washington, D.C., was preserved in a sprawling government funding bill passed by Congress on Thursday, despite opposition from advocates who say the provision overrides the will of the District’s residents years after they voted to legalize marijuana.

The Harris Rider, a provision barring the legalization of recreational marijuana sales in the nation’s capital named after its chief proponent Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), sailed through the Senate on late Thursday, a day after passing the House, as part of a larger $1.5 trillion spending omnibus package to fund the government through fiscal year 2022.

Congressional Democrats had pushed to do away with the provision, opting not to include the rider in the government funding bills unveiled by appropriators in both chambers last year. But negotiators say the rider was reinstalled in appropriations after sharp opposition from Republicans.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, said Republicans insisted on the provision and were ready to shut down the government over it.

Andy Harris (R)

The Hill

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