- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Legislation taxing and regulating recreational marijuana will “soon” be introduced in D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday.

Ms. Bowser, a Democrat, offered a vague but optimistic update about efforts to legalize retail marijuana sales in D.C. during a press conference held at the start of her second term in office.

“We hope soon to be in this room to talk about a piece of legislation,” Ms. Bowser told reporters.

“I’m not being coy, but we will have something soon,” she added.

Ms. Bowser’s comment came in response to a reporter’s question about her previously announced plan to tax and regulate marijuana sales in the nation’s capital, potentially place D.C. in the same category as seven states and counting with laws in place permitting retail dispensaries to operate in spite of federal pot prohibition.

Marijuana has been legal in D.C. for medical and recreational purposes since 2010 and 2015, respectively, and existing laws allow adults in the District to legally grow, use and share small amounts of the plant.

The U.S. House of Representatives has final say on D.C. laws, and congressional Republicans have stalled previous efforts to legalize marijuana sales within the District. Democrats gained control of the House this month, however, lowering the likelihood of any proposals passed by the D.C. Council encountering Republican opposition on Capitol Hill.

Ms. Bowser was elected to her second term on Nov. 6, and the following day she announced plans to pursue marijuana reform in 2019.

“As long as we have the ability to possess marijuana, which is our law, we also need the ability to procure marijuana legally, which we don’t have now,” Ms. Bowser said at the time.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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