Jacob Sullum on the Difficulty of Stopping Marijuana Legalization in Washington, D.C.

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Office of Andy Harris

At a press conference last week, Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia's congressional delegate, urged her colleagues to respect the will of the voters who overwhelmingly approved marijuana legalization in the nation's capital on November 4. She was joined by three congressmen, including Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who said trying to block legalization in D.C. or in Alaska and Oregon, where voters also said no to marijuana prohibition this month, would flout "fundamental principles" that "Republicans have always talked about," including "individual liberties," "limited government," and "states' rights and the 10th Amendment."

Norton noted that "we've had a threat to try to overturn our legalization initiative." She was referring to Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who after the D.C. vote told The Washington Post, "I will consider using all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action." Although there is no doubting Harris's sincerity, says Jacob Sullum, those resources probably will prove inadequate.

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