02:36 - Source: CNN
Republican defends Congress for banning legal pot in DC
Washington CNN —  

Congressional Republicans weren’t being hypocritical when they blocked the nation’s capital from legalizing marijuana, they were simply following the Constitution, Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told CNN.

In November, 65 percent of D.C. voters approved a ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession. In December, Congress blocked its implementation.

In an interview, Chaffetz said Republicans weren’t undercutting their support for states’ rights and smaller government by blocking Washington’s pot legalization.

“Looking at the Constitution, Washington, D.C. is different. They are not a state and we have a role to play and the Congress passed this,” said Chaffetz, whose committee oversees the District of Columbia. “I respect the people who live here and most everything passes through without a problem. But the idea that this is going to be a haven for pot smoking, I can’t support that.”

Congress included a provision in a must-pass spending bill to block implementation of the legalization measure. But some city officials think they can still move forward with legalization.

“We may very well head to the courts. But we did pass a law. The President signed it. And it prohibits this so I think we have dealt with it. Some legal folks in the city of Washington, D.C. may beg to differ, but I think we’ve been crystal clear,” Chaffetz said. “You haven’t heard the end of it. It will come back again.”