U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is pushing for the Biden administration to end the District of Columbia’s marijuana crackdown and support DC’s clemency authority.
Norton said the rider would prohibit D.C. from spending local funds on the commercialization of recreational marijuana, adding that it’s time for D.C. to have the authority to grant pardons for felonies under D.C. law.
“I applaud the president’s clemency, but his administration has actively worked to prevent the District of Columbia from spending local funds on the commercialization of recreational marijuana, a shocking violation of DC home rule by a Democratic administration,” Norton said, referring to Biden’s recent statement. pardons for federal and District of Columbia felonies for simple possession of marijuana. “The pardon for DC-related marijuana offenses also shows that DC does not have to rely on the president to exercise clemency and mitigate the harms of unjust policies. The DC should have the power to grant pardons for DC offenses in the same way that states and territories do for offenses under their laws. The Biden administration should publicly support DC for this authorization.”
Officials noted that two budgets from the Biden administration have proposed banning D.C. from selling recreational marijuana — though the administration supports D.C. statehood.
In addition, the House Oversight and Reform Committee last month passed Norton’s District of Columbia Home Rule Expansion Act, which, among other things, gives DC the sole authority to grant pardons for DC crimes.