April 8, 2014
By Dana Milbank
The Washington Post
Legal marijuana is spreading like a weed across the land but it has yet to take root in the place where people might benefit most from inhaling: the U.S. Capitol.
The Maryland General Assembly finished work Monday on a marijuana decriminalization bill, joining two dozen other states and the District in some form of legalization. Colorado and Washington allow recreational pot, while most others have legalized only medical marijuana, but the combined campaign has redefined the meaning of a grass-roots movement.
Still, federal law hasn’t budged, and a bill sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) that would recognize the medical value of marijuana has languished for a year; it has only 23 co-sponsors and no chance of passing. On Monday, when members of the pro-legalization Americans for Safe Access held their annual “lobby day” on Capitol Hill, not a single member of Congress granted them a personal audience.