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DC's top lawyer says no to pot legalization

Thursday - 2/20/2014, 6:48pm  ET

BEN NUCKOLS
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The District of Columbia's top lawyer says city residents shouldn't be allowed to vote on whether to legalize possession of marijuana.

Attorney General Irvin Nathan wrote in a letter to the city's elections board Thursday that a proposed initiative to legalize pot should not go on the ballot this fall.

Nathan says the initiative violates federal law -- in particular because it would prevent the city from evicting public housing residents for drug possession.

Legalization advocates want city voters to decide whether it should be legal to possess up to two ounces of pot or cultivate up to three marijuana plants.

The D.C. Council has given preliminary approval to making possession of small amounts of pot a civil offense while retaining criminal penalties for smoking in public.


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