D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveils bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced legislation Thursday to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana dispensaries in the nation’s capital, setting up a potential showdown with the federal government.

The District’s marijuana laws are in limbo. Residents can legally grow and possess small amounts of the drug under a 2014 voter-approved law. But they cannot legally purchase pot, and the city cannot tax sales, because of a provision in the federal budget that prohibits the District from enacting or enforcing marijuana legalization laws.

Advocates have been hopeful that Congress would strip the anti-marijuana language — which originated with House Republicans — from the federal budget now that Democrats control the House. But it’s unclear whether the next spending plan will pass before or after the 2020 elections.

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