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Congress Poised To Lift Ban On Medical Marijuana In D.C.

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D.C. may become the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. The legislation could be approved by the end of the week.
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D.C. may become the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. The legislation could be approved by the end of the week.

By Patrick Madden

Congress appears ready to lift the ban on D.C.'s medical marijuana law. Eleven years ago, voters in D.C. overwhelmingly approved a referendum to legalize medical marijuana. Congress immediately blocked the provision and for more than a decade, federal lawmakers have attached an amendment to the government's massive spending bill, banning the city from funding the effort.

But this year's spending bill does not include the provision, potentially paving the way for D.C. to become the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana. The legislation could be approved by the end of the week. The 11-year-old voter initiative will still have to be sent to congress by the D.C. Council, where federal lawmakers will have another chance to overturn the measure.

The spokeswoman for D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray says the council is still trying to determine the next step.

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