More than a dozen states across the U.S. have already legalized marijuana sales, and later this fall lawmakers in D.C. will start debating whether to join that group.
The D.C. Council has scheduled a public hearing on Nov. 19 to consider legislation from Chairman Phil Mendelson that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana, alongside a separate measure from Mayor Muriel Bowser that would make a number of significant changes to the existing medical marijuana program.
The hearing comes as D.C. officials await a more significant development from Capitol Hill, which has so far stymied any local attempts to legalize marijuana sales. Over the summer House Democrats managed to remove a six-year-old congressional prohibition on D.C. moving forward on legalizing sales. But any final vote on scrapping what’s known as the Harris Rider — after its author, Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland) — is likely to be delayed until later this year, largely because of the broader fighting on Capitol Hill around federal spending. (A group of marijuana advocates are protesting outside Congress today, demanding federal action to legalize marijuana and lift the rider on D.C.) [Read more at DCist]