Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser says she’ll defy congressional Republicans and implement D.C.’s new local law allowing its residents to smoke marijuana starting on Thursday, according to CNN.
In implementing the new pot laws, Bowser is rebuffing two influential House Republicans who’d warned her that she’d be breaking federal law — and risking retribution.
“We would encourage the Congress to not be so concerned with overturning what seven out of 10 voters said should be the law in the District of Columbia,” Bowser said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, called the new legal framework “depenalization” since sales were still barred, and said it was unlikely to unseat a thriving black market, according to Yahoo News.
Bowser and Washington police are implementing a measure approved by D.C. voters in November allowing Washington residents to possess up to two ounces of pot. The allowance applies only to those over 21. In addition, D.C. residents could grow up to six pot plants in their own yards. Buying and selling pot would still be illegal, as would smoking in public places. People could transfer up to one ounce to another person — just not for money.
“We strongly suggest you reconsider your position,” the two wrote to Bowser in a thinly-veiled suggestion that there would be consequences for ignoring them. They pointed to House rules that give Chaffetz’s panel broad investigative authority.
Bowser brushed Chaffetz and Meadows back on Wednesday, saying they should worry about bigger problems — like funding the Department of Homeland Security, which is set to shut down at week’s end if Congress doesn’t act.
She took a shot at Republicans who have suggested she could wind up in jail for breaking federal law — and claimed that Congress has no powers to prosecute her.