For Immediate Release

December 9, 2014

Contact: Dionne Johnson Calhoun

(202) 724-8105


 Grosso to Congress: Don't Blunt D.C.'s Election

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) issued the following statement on a potential rider on Initiative 71 that House Republicans are negotiating in the omnibus spending bill to prevent a federal government shutdown:

"It is disheartening and frustrating to learn that once again the District of Columbia is being used as a political pawn by the Congress. On Election Day, residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of Initiative 71, which would legalize the limited possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults who are 21 or older. To undermine the vote of the people--taxpayers--does not foster or promote the "limited government" stance House Republicans claim they stand for; it's uninformed paternalistic meddling.

The members of Congress and the residents of the 50 states they represent do not have to deal with the significant and growing collateral consequences of the marijuana arrests and convictions in the District as a result of the failed "War on Drugs". The people have spoken and they have voted. We are tired of a criminal justice system that has too often focused on vengeance and punishment, and does not allow for social and economic reintegration of returning citizens into our communities so that they do not turn to crime again. Initiative 71 was our start for a common sense approach to these issues. It's about social justice.

The District's medical marijuana program was delayed by Congress for over a decade and we will not stand by and allow this to happen again with Initiative 71. I urge the residents of this city to take a stand along with the Council in our continued fight for legislative and budget autonomy and call members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee to ask them to pass a clean CR and leave the District of Columbia out of their politics."

TAKE ACTION: Call and tweet the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to express your frustration with this proposal.

Senate Appropriation Committee:

Chair: Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-MD



(202) 224-4654

Ranking member: Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL


(202) 224-5744


House Appropriations Committee:

Chair: Rep. Hal Rogers, R-KY



(202) 225-4601

Ranking Member: Rep. Nita Lowey, D-NY


(202) 225-6506