An amendment that would make it impossible for the District of Columbia to lessen penalties for marijuana possession—and possibly to legalize the drug—passed in the House Committee on Appropriations.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who proposed the amendment in committee, said that his background in medicine motivated his efforts to block the District law.
"As a physician, I have read study after study on the devastating effects of marijuana use, especially on developing brains of teenagers," Harris, who is an anesthesiologist, said in a statement. "Congress has the authority to stop irresponsible actions by local officials, and I am glad we did for the health and safety of children throughout the District."