Sounds to me that House Republicans led by Representative Andy Harris of Maryland will lose the legal pot issue in Washington D.C. because of bad legislating and bad writing. They left in an unintentional loophole in their own appropriation bills that supervises the City of Washington lets say. And won’t have enough time to fix their own bill, because it probably won’t pass the Republican Senate with either a simple majority or super majority and President Obama wouldn’t sign it anyway. And as Jacob Sullum put it, federal courts don’t tend to mess around with Congressional issues when Congress can fix those issues themselves. And thirty-days won’t be enough time for Representative Harris to get his amendment fixed and passed by both the House and Senate.
Anytime you hear someone speaking in favor of federalism and local control and that person will most likely be a Republican, even though center-left Democrats believe in it as well, they just don’t tend to brag about it, but when you hear a Republican speak in favor of federalism and local control, ask them about Washington DC. A big city of six-hundred and fifty-thousand or so people, in an area of roughly six-million people, with their own government, mayor and council that is elected by Washingtonians. What you’ll probably get from them unless they are true federalists is the line about, “well Washington comes under federal control because it is the nation’s capital”. Completely forgetting about the other facts about local control.
Believing in federalism and local control is not about believing states and localities have the right to govern they way you would govern. But the right for them manage their own affairs as they see fit. As long as they are within the U.S. Constitution and that they are also held responsible for their own decision-making. So federal taxpayers are forced to bailout their bad decision-making. I’m guessing if Maryland were to make marijuana legal statewide for adults over twenty-one, which just happens to be Representative Harris’s state and this could happen within the next year or so even with a new Republican governor, Representative Harris might move to get that repealed through federal law. And good-bye to federalism.
Pot TV: The Fight Over Marijuana Legalization in Washington