Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy is pushing for a measure that could finally allow recreational marijuana sales in Washington D.C.
While adult-use cannabis was made legal in Washington D.C. in 2014, a rider contained in all presidential budget proposals since that date has prevented the state from exercising those laws.
The rider prevents the District of Columbia from spending its own money to legalize and regulate adult-use marijuana sales.
While adults over 21 are allowed to grow and possess marijuana, commercial sales remain barred by that rider which was also included in President Biden’s last budget for 2022.
The New Amendment: In a new text of legislation released by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a budget proposal to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2022 is presented, which among other measures, purposely fails to include that rider.
The legislation also contains several other cannabis provisions, including to “continue an existing protection for state medical marijuana laws, call on the federal government to reconsider policies that fire employees for cannabis, criticize the restrictive drug classification system that impedes scientific research and encourage the development of technologies to detect THC-impaired driving,” reported Marijuana Moment.
In June of this year, a group of House Representatives released a measure to scrap the rider, which passed a House vote.
The new Senate Appropriations Committee bill also decided not to include that rider, meaning that its passage would finally allow the regulation of a legal cannabis industry in the District of Columbia.