Washington DC’s New Mayor Backs Marijuana Legalization and Will of Voters

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As a female mayor, Muriel Bowser is already in a league of her own. She has, in her first week in office, already said on a nationally televised interview that she believes Initiative 71 is self-enacting, meaning that Congress should not be able to block the decision by the voters of Washington DC to legalize marijuana.

 In an interview on “Meet the Press,” Bowser spoke with Chuck Todd (whose wife previously worked for a firm involved in Bowser’s election) about several issues facing her as mayor of Washington DC, but few topics are as interesting as the red-hot issue of voter’s rights and legalization in DC. Bowser made is clear that she will support the will of the voters who elected her (and legalized marijuana for adult use).

10846365_748128998570085_4066114495210095766_n“Well, we want to respect the will of the D.C. voters, and we think that Initiative 71 is self-enacting…The bottom line for us is we have to have laws that are clear and enforceable,” she said. When pressed on the issue, she made it clear that, if necessary, her administration was willing to file a lawsuit against Congress, though she stated that she hopes the issue can be resolved more diplomatically. Considering that some lawmakers are insistent that their changes to a budget bill mean DC can not implement the law, this may well be an uphill battle, but it is one that Bowser is already preparing for.

The crux of the argument is simple: the rider passed by Congress bars Washington DC from using any funds to enact the Initiative. Bowser and many others who support the Initiative are quick to point out that the law does not require any more legislation to be implemented and that the language of the rider attached to the budget does not actually prevent the implementation of Initiative 71, only the use of funds to do so.

Ladybud Magazine will be following the Washington DC legalization initiative as it moves forward. With passionate, dedicated advocates like  Murial Bowser fighting to uphold the will of her constituents, Initiative 71 and democracy within Washington DC itself stand decent chances of surviving in a hostile political environment.


Photo Credit: Art by Demont Pinder, art and photo via Muriel Bowser’s public Facebook