DC Council marijuana hearing downgraded over concerns about Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — A D.C. Council hearing on taxing and regulating marijuana has been downgraded over fears that it would be illegal to consider the bill.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine warned the council not to proceed with the hearing because of language approved by Congress in a spending bill last year. The bill bars the District from spending any money to liberalize its marijuana laws.

As a result, Monday's hearing on the tax-and-regulate bill was changed to a "roundtable discussion" of the issues it presents.

District voters approved an initiative legalizing possession of pot for personal use last year. The language in the bill passed by Congress sought to block the city from moving forward with legalization. But District leaders argue they can still make pot legal without regulations.

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