The Huffington Post

Meddling House Republican Tries to Stop "Irresponsible" Local DC Marijuana Decriminalization Law


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."

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  1. Big question is whether a floor amendment gets offered to reverse this in the whole House. The whole House might get a different result than the Appropriations Committee, judging from some recent votes on pot and the states.

  2. “As a physician an attorney, I have read study after study on the devastating effects of marijuana use Congress, especially on developing brains of teenagers the middle class,”

    Cool, now I’m an expert too!

  3. Congress has the authority to stop irresponsible actions by local officials

    Under what article of the constitution?

    Fuck these paternalistic assholes.

    1. Congress has the authority to stop irresponsible actions by local officials

      Under what article of the constitution?

      The District of Columbia is under the authority of Congress per Article 1, Section 8. Congress merely delegated everyday functions to a city council but reserves the right to veto and decision the council makes.

      1. I know DC is under congressional authority, but his statement seems to be much broader. I should’ve been more clear.

      2. The way he phrases it makes it seem like he thinks Congress has authority to override the incorrect decisions of all naughty municipalities. Given his hostility to MMJ (which, his protestations notwithstanding, is grounded in emotionalism rather than his medical expertise), I would not be surprised that his emotions prevent him from comprehending the constitutional issues at stake here.

        That said, your interpretation is constitutionally correct, and would make his stand less insane. Maybe if we look at the full context, it’s clear that “local officials” really means “local official [in Washington, D.C.]”

  4. As a physician…

    Uh, every Maryland legislator has an MD after their name. Doesn’t make you a doctor.

    1. Thanks to gerrymandering, our state has the glory of being represented by this guy and a host of even more shitty Democrats.

  5. I’m wondering if he’s read studies of the effects of, say, methamphetamine on teen-agers brains and is okay with legalizing drugs that don’t adversely affect development.

    1. Yep. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  6. Yeah, just look at all of that devastation.

    You know, maybe smoking lots of pot as a teenager isn’t the best choice. I don’t know. You only get to do one thing at any particular time. But it’s just absurd on its face to call it “devastation”.

  7. pretty sure anesthetists have killed more teenagers than weed.

    1. Doctors in general have killed more teens than pot.

      1. Well, according to studies by another anesthesiologist, Dr. Gabriel Nahas (who suffocated monkeys), marijuana is a menace. Must cut into their revenue stream.…

  8. I think he meant to say, “As a dick, I can’t stop myself from doing dick things.”

    1. Okay, that cracked me up and I’m still laughing. Good job.

  9. He calls out teenagers. Was DC planning to legalize pot only for adults, or for children as well?

    1. They were going to make it part of the school lunch program. No, they weren’t even legalizing for adults. It was juts decriminalization where they seize pot they find and write people tickets. It wouldn’t be legal, just more of a violation like a traffic ticket. It’s been decriminalized like that in several states now for decades, and of course use in states that have decriminalized is about the same as in those that haven’t and it goes up and down with the times in states that have decriminalized just like in states that haven’t. All it really changes is that government saves money and there aren’t so many with criminal records that mess their lives up. The vast majority of Americans are for decriminalization and a slight but growing majority are for outright legalization with regulations like we have on alcohol.

  10. I still don’t get where spending money comes into this. The Barr amendment prohibited the spending of money to count the votes of a ballot question, but there’s no such mechanism here.

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