So the District of Columbia essentially passed a law reducing the penalty for marijuana from jail to a fine. But U.S. Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) pushed forward an amendment in the U.S. Congress (which controls D.C.’s purse strings) that would prevent D.C. from even using its own funds to “carry out any law, rule or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce criminal penalties for marijuana.”
Pretty ridiculous. Now, however, the White House has stepped in, opposing the amendment:
The White House Statement of Administration Policy reads: “Similarly, the Administration strongly opposes the language in the bill preventing the District from using its own local funds to carry out locally- passed marijuana policies, which again undermines the principles of States’ rights and of District home rule.
It’s unusual to see a Democratic administration pointing out the importance of State’s rights. It’s often seen as a loaded term, bringing back memories of segregation and slavery, and being used as a way to undermine any actions of the federal government.
And yet, “State’s rights,” more accurately defined as political powers reserved for the U.S. state governments rather than the federal government, are an essential part of the United States Constitution.
It’s an oddly sad victory when we astonishingly note the White House’s support of the U.S. Constitution.