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Congressman Says He'd Support D.C. Marijuana Law If It Echoed Maryland's

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Maryland Rep. Andy Harris says if D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization bill looked more like Maryland's, he'd drop his opposition.
Matthew Kenwrick: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58847482@N03/5396653671/
Maryland Rep. Andy Harris says if D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization bill looked more like Maryland's, he'd drop his opposition.

Maryland Congressman Andy Harris says he would withdraw his objection to the D.C. marijuana decriminalization law if the bill would simply be rewritten to more closely mirror the Maryland law.

Depending on how you look at it, Harris' comments are either a possible end to the ongoing dispute between him, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray and supporters of voting rights for residents of the District, or it's just the latest chapter.

On one hand, Harris says the feud could end with a few changes to D.C.'s decriminalization law—which he says as currently written, would open the door to increased drug use among teens.

"If it looked more like the Maryland law I wouldn't have gotten involved with it," Rep. Harris says. "I still think it will result in increased teenage drug use, and I still wouldn't support it, but I would withdraw my objection to the D.C. law, I would leave that one alone."

The dispute started with Harris' move to block D.C.'s decriminalization of marijuana law, which led to a call for a boycott of Harris' district, particularly Ocean City, and has now evolved into a new public spat over the quest for voting rights in the District.

"You know, if someone wants voting rights, the Constitution is clear, they go to a state, not the federal enclave, and they have voting rights," Harris says. "If they are in the federal enclave, then Congress is their local legislature."

By the current tone of the debate, it seems that regardless of when this feud ends, its not going to end quietly.


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