Recreational marijuana use was legalized in Washington D.C. and Alaska this year. D.C.’s legalization has prompted some congressional Republicans to try to undermine the city’s reforms. However, the experience of states that have already legalized, and economic theory, both indicate that legalization creates more benefits than costs.
Recreational use and possession of marijuana up to two ounces is now legal in Washington D.C. for individuals 21 years of age and over (one ounce in Alaska). Although the sale of marijuana is still illegal in D.C., gifts of up to one ounce are permitted. Marijuana must be consumed on private property and individuals are allowed to “homegrow” up to six marijuana plants in both D.C. and Alaska. Alaska plans to allow marijuana retailer licensing beginning in 2016 but DC has not announced any plans to legalize the sale of marijuana.
This has angered congressional Republicans such as Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina. Chaffetz and Meadows sent the mayor of D.C. a letter stating “If you decide to move forward tomorrow with the legalization of marijuana in the District, you will be doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law.”…read more