Obama’s 2016 Budget Would Allow D.C. to Legalize and Regulate Cannabis Sales
President Obama on Monday released his proposal for the federal government’s 2016 budget. As part of the 2,000-page, $4 trillion proposed budget, Obama is calling for a reversal of recent congressional action that prohibits the District of Columbia from legalizing recreational cannabis sales.
In November, D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative that legalized the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis. The initiative didn’t, however, legalize cannabis sales.
The following month, federal lawmakers approved a national spending bill which included a provision prohibiting D.C. from spending any federal or local funds implementing an initiative or a legislative proposal to legalize cannabis sales. Despite this, four D.C. councilors filed legislation last month to legalize cannabis outlets, which would be able to distribute up to two ounces of cannabis to anyone 21 and older.
Obama’s proposed budget would allow this proposal to go into effect if it’s approved by D.C. officials. The change is made through a very simply alteration in the spending bill’s language, which would continue to prohibit D.C. from spending federal funding implementing cannabis legalization, while allowing them to spend their own local funds.
Obama’s budget will need to be approved by congress before becoming law.