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June 25, 2014

House committee votes to block D.C. marijuana decriminalization

WASHINGTON — A House committee has approved an amendment that would undo the recent liberalization of marijuana laws in the nation's capital.

The amendment to a major spending bill was introduced by Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland on Wednesday and was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a mostly party-line vote.Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill in March that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of pot in the District of Columbia.

The bill is set to take effect next month, but the amendment would prevent the District from implementing the law by barring the city from spending any local tax dollars on it.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District in Congress, says Harris "is acting contrary to the laws of his own state." which recently decriminalized marijuana.

Eighteen states currently have some form of decriminalization.

Harris says marijuana is harmful to the developing brain and that the $25 civil fine for possession approved in the District is too low.

 

 

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