Ever since Congress stuck it to the residents of Washington D.C. by approving a rider attached to a federal spending bill that prohibits the city from moving forward with future plans to legalize marijuana, the DC Council has been busy developing a scheme to establish a taxed and regulated cannabis industry. A report from The Washington Times indicates that city officials are planning to hold a series of public hearings next month aimed at discussing legislation that would allow the presence of retail pot shops in the nation’s capital.
Indeed, the governmental powers of the District of Columbia have refused to allow the sandbagging efforts of Congress to prevent them from pursing plans to sell legal marijuana in the backyard of the White House. Although D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has approached this war against the congressional grind with a limp wrist strategy in order to avoid fully awakening the beast on Capitol Hill, the implications surrounding the proposed hearings indicates a legion of warriors prepared to fight to the death.
The District currently has soldiers on the front line, quietly twisting the arms of Congress to allow them to move forward with the voter approved Initiative 71, which made it legal to cultivate and possess marijuana. Councilman David Grosso had a wild look in his eyes, just days after the Omnibus spending bill was approved, when he suggested that thousands of people should show up on the front lawn of Congress and raise hell. But last week, Council Chairman Mendelson swopped in, explaining that he was not trying to “defy anybody” and simply planned to transmit the initiative in accordance with the law.
While it is understandable why Mendelson and a gang of council members do not simply walk into the chambers of Congress and threaten to hurt representative Andy Harris, the man responsible for the problematic rider; his passive aggressiveness could be suppressing a rabid animal waiting to be unleashed as soon as the feds decide to officially kill the initiative. Congress has 30 days to decide whether the measure should pass or be burned beyond recognition by Speaker of the House John Boehner’s alcoholic eyes. If this happens, Washington D.C. could be transformed into a veritable thunderdome, complete with clenched fist protests and the filing of lawsuits printed on used toilet paper.
In the meantime, the DC Council plans to explore its options in regards to passing legislation to legalize a legal marijuana industry, starting with the upcoming hearings, which are expected to get underway at the beginning of February.