I’m desperately trying to understand how getting marijuana laws passed nationwide has become today’s Selma, but if there is one thing that is intolerable it’s the shameful way congressional Republicans are bullying the residents of Washington, D.C., to not blaze in the comfort of their homes.
Possessing marijuana in the nation’s capital became legal at midnight Wednesday, yet Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz and his Republican compadres are literally threatening to jail D.C.’s elected leaders for implementing a law that was overwhelmingly approved at the ballot box by the residents of the District of Columbia.
Residents will be allowed to possess no more than two ounces of weed. They can’t sell, but are more than allowed to smoke it in the privacy of their home. Outdoor places and cars are forbidden.
Yet Chaffetz is fuming, literally threatening to jail Mayor Muriel Bowser or any D.C. elected official or employee who moves forward on the law.
“The penalties are severe, and we’re serious about this. Nobody’s wishing or wanting that to happen, but the law is clear,” Chaffetz told ABC News.
Yes, Washington, D.C., residents, who can shed their blood on the battlefield for America, pay their fair share of taxes, and partake of everything this country has to offer don’t have the damn right to determine their own destiny because members of Congress, oftentimes Republicans, want to always butt into their business.
Why? Because the Constitution designated the federal capital to be under federal jurisdiction so it therefore can’t become a state. Never mind that 700,000 people are actual residents of Washington, D.C. Never mind that they have an elected mayor and city council to run the affairs of the city. Never mind that marijuana is legal in Alaska, Colorado, and the state of Washington. Congress has oversight of the city and can force its will whenever it pleases.
This, folks, ain’t just a GOP thing.
When President Barack Obama hit the Oval Office, he did away with the DC Opportunities Scholarship, an educational voucher program for residents of the district. The initiative was a pet peeve of the GOP, and they used their will to make it happen.
Republicans tried to pass a measure attaching abortion restrictions to D.C. residents, but that was beaten back by Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was elected by the people but who has no vote in Congress.
Congress has always used the power of the purse strings to try to control Washington as much as it could, and frankly, it is a shame.
I would love nothing more than to see Mayor Bowser fly to Utah and tell residents of that state they should ignore certain laws passed by elected officials. If she did that, I’m sure Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz would issue a “how-dare-she” press release, blasting her for ignoring the will of the people of the state of Utah.
And therein lies the problem. Washington, D.C., residents have a right to be a state. They have a right to determine their own will instead of being threatened by Congress.
I’ve never smoked weed; don’t like the smell of weed; would never allow it to be smoked in my presence. But I stand with D.C. leaders who have pledged to defy congressional Republicans when it comes to the voter-approved marijuana law.
I guess the will of the people only applies to non-D.C. residents.