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Democratic House flip may mean full legalization of marijuana in nation’s capital

Residents of the nation’s capital get no vote in Congress, but the Democratic takeover of the House may come with a consolation prize: recreational marijuana shops.

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), fresh off her reelection victory, said Wednesday she plans to introduce legislation early next year to legalize the sale of marijuana.

Voters in 2014 passed a ballot measure legalizing the possession of marijuana in small amounts. But House Republicans have blocked the city from spending money to regulate and tax marijuana.

That means District residents over 21 can legally grow and use marijuana, and possess up to two ounces. But it must be used and grown on private property and cannot be exchanged for money, goods or services. Residents cannot buy marijuana as they can in six states that have legalized the drug, and the District is not able to tax transactions, losing what could be millions in revenue annually.

The District has several dispensaries for registered patients who use medical marijuana.

But with Republicans losing control of the House, local elected officials hope the federal restrictions against recreational marijuana will end and that full legalization can commence.

“We will prepare a tax-and-regulate scheme to present to the council at the beginning of the next year,” said Bowser at a city hall news conference outlining her second-term goals.

“We have an untenable situation in the District,” the mayor continued. “As long as we have the ability to possess marijuana, which is our law, we also need the ability to procure marijuana legally, which we don’t have now.” [Read More @ Washington Post]

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