Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is not such a big fan of democracy.
Congressional Republicans are once again showing their concern for local control by including a provision in the spending bill that would
block Washington, DC, from legalizing marijuana
. Residents of the District voted overwhelmingly for legalization in November, but it is within Congress' power to say "screw them," and that's just what Maryland Rep. Andy Harris is saying.
“That’s the way the Constitution was written,” Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) said in an interview Wednesday. “If they don’t like that oversight, move outside of the federal district to one of the 50 states that is not covered by the jurisdiction of Congress as a whole.”
While a few Republicans, like Sen. Rand Paul, don't agree, Harris has the support of enough of his party to have put the provision in the spending bill and to continue to insist on it.
“Congress oversees the D.C. spending, and that was an item that we felt was appropriate,” said [House Appropriations Chair Hal] Rogers, whose Eastern Kentucky district has had its own problems with prescription drug abuse over the years.
Asked about interfering on a matter enacted by a huge majority of voters, Rogers said: “I’ll refer to my previous answer.”
Translation: Screw them. Screw their votes. Screw democracy.
With congressional Republicans poised to block the District from spending any money to implement the initiative, Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser has indicated she might just decriminalize marijuana without putting into place a system of regulated and taxed legal sales. Naturally, Harris is telling Bowser to back down, though hilariously, his reason is that "if the incoming mayor wants to develop distribution channels without any oversight, I think that would be pretty unpopular and unprecedented in legalization efforts in the United States." Unpopular, says the guy working to overturn the will of 70 percent of the voters of a city he doesn't represent.