President Barack Obama is reviving hopes that recreational cannabis sales will become a reality in Washington DC.
Buried in a 2,000-page budget Obama’s office sent recently to Congress is a minute change to a separate spending bill from December that included a provision that blocks DC officials from setting up a recreational cannabis market.
Obama’s bill simply alters two words to allow DC officials to use local tax money – but not federal funds – to craft a regulatory structure for the sale and taxation of adult-use cannabis, according to the Washington Post.
In November, Washington DC voters passed Initiative 71, which legalizes the possession and consumption (but not sales) of marijuana for residents 21 and over.
City council officials had been discussing the possibility of passing a separate measure that would pave the way for rec sales in DC, but that was thrown off in December when Congressional conservatives were able to block Initiative 71.
City leaders vowed to fight Congress over the issue, and it could still wind up in court.
Obama’s budget is only a proposal at this point. As the Post noted, it would be “relatively easy” for anti-marijuana members of Congress to amend the measure as it winds its way through the House and Senate.