DPA Leads Coalition of Criminal Justice Reform, Liberty & Drug Policy Groups Demanding Congress Remove Appropriations Rider that Prevents DC from Regulating Marijuana

Press Release November 13, 2019
Media Contact

Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
[email protected]

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Drug Policy Alliance led a group of criminal justice reform, liberty and drug policy organizations in sending a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees along with the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittees asking that they remove a rider from the appropriations bill that has prevented D.C. from establishing a regulatory framework for marijuana, despite it being legalized by D.C. voters in 2014.
Below is a statement from Queen Adesuyi, National Affairs Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance:
“In 2014, D.C. residents exercised their constitutional rights and voted to legalize marijuana – by an overwhelming margin of 71% – and yet, five years later it remains the only jurisdiction—out of a dozen that have voted to legalize—that Congress has blocked from reaping the full public safety, criminal justice, and economic opportunities associated with regulating marijuana. 
Under these conditions—where marijuana is essentially decriminalized, but there is no legal access for adult use—D.C. has been left with a complicated grey market that is both unsafe and a far cry from the racial and economic justice promises of the Initiative 71 campaign.
It’s time that Congress get its hands off of D.C. and allows D.C. Council, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and other D.C. stakeholders to deliver on the promises of equity and justice for those disproportionately impacted by racially-biased enforcement of marijuana laws.”
The full letter can be found here.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

Sign up for updates from DPA.