CONGRESS

DC Mayor Bowser Wants to Legalize Marijuana Sales

One day after D.C. voters re-elected Mayor Muriel Bowser, she says one of the first things she intends to do in her second term is to try to legalize recreational marijuana sales.

D.C. legalized marijuana use in 2015, but Congress blocked the city from regulating marijuana sales.

But Bowser said she believes there is a new opportunity for Congress to approve legalization after Democrats took control of the House in Tuesday's elections.

"We have the ability to possess marijuana but no legal way to buy marijuana. As long as we have the ability to possess marijuana, which is our law, we also need the ability to procure marijuana legally. Which we don’t have now," Bowser said.

"I think it is an opportunity. Some of the dinosaur Republicans have been moved out of the way. It's moving in this direction. The people want it," attorney Paul Zuckerberg told News4.

Residents must currently grow their own marijuana or receive it as a gift.

D.C. police have busted numerous "pot parties" in the past three years since legalization in which vendors sell items and "give" buyers marijuana with their purchase.

More than a dozen people were arrested at a pot party in January in which vendors sold $400 pairs of tube socks with "free" marijuana at a D.C. nightclub.

Under the city's current law, marijuana can only be consumed in private homes. It is illegal to smoke, eat, or drink marijuana or holding or carrying a lighted roll of paper or other lighted smoking equipment filled with marijuana in any public space in Washington.

Bowser said she plans to submit new legislation to the council in early 2019.

While it's likely the D.C. Council would approve marijuana sales, the decision would still be up to Congress, which has the power to overturn D.C.'s local laws.

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