The District of Columbia’s referendum to legalize and regulate marijuana was nullified in the $1.1 trillion spending agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators on Tuesday night; possession of cannabis was decriminalized.
The Republican-led US House used the crucial spending bill to block legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, where a ballot initiative last month received nearly 70 percent support.
The spending agreement will also expand the amount of money that donors can give political parties, and ease rules of the Dodd-Frank securities regulation law on some of the financial institutions that helped cause the most recent financial crisis.
Although they ignored the voice of the voters, Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill claimed they held their ground on the most fundamental issues. The New York Times quoted Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) as saying, “In today’s era of slam-down politics, we were able to set aside our differences. Working across the aisle and across the dome, we created compromise without capitulation.” Ignoring the voter referendum to legalize marijuana seems like the definition of capitulation to the conservative agenda. Democrats in denial, again.