Marijuana and Cannabis News

House Republicans Move To Block D.C.'s Medical Marijuana Law
By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Legislation, Medical
Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 10:40 am
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).jpg
Photo: You Are Hated!
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz wants you to stay off the pot.
Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced Wednesday afternnon that they have introduced a resolution to disapprove the District of Columbia's city law legalizing medical marijuana, reports Mike DeBonis of The Washington Post.

"While derivatives of marijuana are available in pill form for medicinal purposes, smoked marijuana is a health danger, not a cure, and therefore remains a harmful and dangerous drug for people of all ages," the clueless Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz, a Mormon convert, Brigham Young graduate and right-wing crank already known for opposing progressive legislation of any sort, is the creepiest sort of reactionary, the "I used to be a liberal" young kind of earnest, clean-cut, gay-marriage-opposing, pot-hating, wholesome-looking wingnut.

Members of Congress are allowed to "review" D.C. city laws for 30 legislative days before they become effective, because the city is a federal district.

The medical marijuana bill, which was first passed in 1998 by District of Columbia voters, was blocked by Congress for more than a decade, until the lawmakers finally relented last year and decided to respect the will of the people.

At that point, the D.C. council wrote up rules and regulations for a workable medical marijuana program, and send the bill to Congress on June 4. The review period of 30 legislative days is expected to end in late July.

The bill would allow a few dispensaries in D.C. to sell small amounts of medical marijuana to qualified patients with a doctors' authorization.

The challenge to D.C.'s medical marijuana law isn't viewed as a serious threat by most observers of Congress.

Real challenges to District laws usually come not through a joint resolution -- which has to be passed by both houses of Congress and then signed by the President -- but rather through the appropriations process, where spending riders are regularly attached to budget legislation.

Such a rider was exactly what kept medical marijuana from happening for 12 years after District voters approved it by referendum in 1998.

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