A new bill in the D.C. Council would legalize and regulate the sales of recreational marijuana in the city, while also creating a novel reparations fund that would offer payments of up to $80,000 to people arrested, convicted, or incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses.
The legislation from Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and six of his colleagues is similar to a measure introduced two years ago, and for now is likely to suffer the same fate as its predecessor: legislative limbo. While most city officials have wanted to legalize marijuana sales for years, their efforts have been stymied by a seven-year-old congressional ban that Democrats failed to lift when they held the majority in the House of Representatives.
Still, lawmakers have introduced the bills as possible stand-ins in case the ban is lifted; the council even held its first-ever public hearing on legalizing recreational sales in Nov. 2021, where advocates offered input and guidance on how the city’s legal regime could look if it ever comes to pass. “We’ve improved [the bill],” said Mendelson on Tuesday. “I think the document should be out there for the public to look at. We want to be ready if and when the [ban] is lifted.”
Click here to read the rest of the article written by Martin Austermuhle over at DCist
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