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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/26/15

Feds Threats to DC Over Legal Pot -- Why Do Alaska, Colorado, and Washington State Get Free Pass?

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Edibles are the Trojan Horse of legalized pot
Edibles are the Trojan Horse of legalized pot
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(Washington, DC) The voters of your nation's capital, Washington, D.C., voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for personal use. On November 4, 2014, 70.1% of D.C. voters said yes to the following changes to already liberal marijuana laws:

[Initiative #71] "will make it lawful under District of Columbia law for a person 21 years of age or older to:

  • possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use;

  • grow no more than six cannabis plants with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants, within the person's principal residence;

  • transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older; and

  • use or sell drug paraphernalia for the use, growing, or processing of marijuana or cannabis." D.C. Cannabis Campaign

Two Republican leaders in the House of Representatives greeted the exercise in democracy with threats of jail for the D.C. mayor and chief of police. The very odd Representative Jason Chaffetz from Utah said:

"If you decide to move forward with the legalization of marijuana in the District, you will be doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law. You can go to prison for this. We're not playing a little game here." Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) Washington Post, Feb 24

For years, Alaska had decriminalized possession of less than four ounces of marijuana for personal use, if the possession is in the citizen's home. On the very same day that DC voters approved initiative #71, Nov 4, 2014, Alaska voters expanded marijuana rights to legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six marijuana plants on their personal property. The Alaska ballot measure is very similar to the DC initiative.

No one in Congress threatened to jail the governor of Alaska or the attorney general if they enforce the approved measure in Alaska.

No one in Congress threatened to jail the governors or attorneys general of Colorado and Washington State when they implemented the voter approved ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana use.

Why are Washington, DC Government Officials Singled Out for Jail for Implementing the Will of the People?

Which leader was singled out by Congress for abuse?
Which leader was singled out by Congress for abuse?
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The correct answer to the question is bottom left, Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, DC. The others are (clockwise) Governors Bill Walker, (R-AK), Jay Inslee (D-WA), and John Hickenlooper, (D-CO).

Mayor Bowser couldn't have been singled out due to political affiliation. She is not the only Democrat in the group and no one is threatening to put Governors Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper in jail.

Maybe it's distance from the Capitol. Alaska, Colorado, and Washington State are all in the far West. But, if you oppose legalization, shouldn't legalized marijuana be a problem wherever it occurs? We can't infer that Rep Chaffetz is endorsing legalized marijuana by failing to call for the imprisonment of the three governors of pot friendly states. There must be something else that can explain singling out Bowser.

Let's see " what's left. A quick look at the picture should suffice. The selection of DC's mayor for incarceration threats and the level of vitriol from Rep. Chaffetz probably have something to do with the fact that she's black.

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