Jacob Sullum on How Congress Will Respond to D.C. Marijuana Legalization

Will they respect democracy and local control or insist on toeing a prohibitionist line?



Of the three jurisdictions where voters approved marijuana legalization in November, Washington, D.C., is the smallest but the most symbolically potent. The prospect of legal marijuana in the nation's capital dramatically signals the ongoing collapse of the 78-year-old ban on a much-maligned plant, Jacob Sullum writes.

But the passage of Initiative 71, which voters backed by a 2-to-1 margin, presents a challenge to the Republicans who now control both houses of Congress. Will they respect democracy and local control, or will they insist that Washingtonians toe a prohibitionist line that is steadily disappearing?