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D.C. Council Backs Down, Cancels Marijuana Hearing After Attorney General Warning

The D.C. Council abandoned plans to hold a hearing on how to tax and regulate marijuana Monday after the District’s new attorney general warned that it could subject city lawmakers and their staff members to fines and even jail time.

The move amounted to a setback for advocates of marijuana legalization and highlighted the difficulties the District is likely to face as it tries to implement Initiative 71, the ballot measure approved overwhelmingly by voters in November.

The hearing was scuttled even though business leaders who had launched sales of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state had traveled to the District to discuss a proposed bill to fully legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital.

The city’s new attorney general, Karl A. Racine, warned the D.C. Council not to hold the planned hearing Monday. Doing so, Racine said in a letter to the council, would violate a spending prohibition placed on the city by Congress barring it from setting up a regulatory scheme for sales of the plant. [Read more at The Washington Post]

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