Thursday, December 11, 2014

Republican Hypocrisy Hits Historic High on Marijuana

By David Downs
Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 9:54 AM

click to enlarge Andy Harris.
  • Andy Harris.
In a galling bit of politics that may help undo the GOP, a House Republican who seeks to block voter-approved cannabis legalization in Washington, DC told voters there that if they don't like it, they can move.

Politico reports this morning that Maryland's lone Republican Congressmember Andy Harris said: “That’s the way the Constitution was written. ... If [Disctrict voters] don’t like that oversight, move outside of the federal district to one of the 50 states that is not covered by the jurisdiction of Congress as a whole.”

Sixty-eight percent of District voters passed Measured 71 this November. The measure carried every precinct except one. Yet Harris has managed to insert a rider into a massive spending bill that seeks to block the use of federal funds to enact legalization. The move sets a new bar for GOP hypocrisy, the Washington Post writes. Republicans love to squeal about respecting state's rights and curbing federal overreach — yet again, they're moving to block the will of voters in the nation's capital.

"The situation leaves Republicans in an awkward position — not only contradicting their long-standing philosophical views that the federal government shouldn’t meddle in local affairs but also out of step with a clear majority of voters who back more liberal marijuana laws" states Politico

The GOP itself is fractured on the issue, Politico reports:

"I believe in more local autonomy on that,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, told Politico. “I think Colorado, the District, most localities should be able to make that decision for themselves.”

By contrast, Utah republican Congressmember Jason Chaffetz told the press: “Washington, DC, has a lot to offer. ... Recreational marijuana shouldn’t be one of them.”

District leaders say the Harris rider is open to legal interpretation. Congress is also set to de-fund the national war on medical marijuana in the same spending bill.

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