The White House on Monday declined the chance to blame illicit marijuana sales for a rise in violent crime in Washington, D.C.—despite the city’s police chief recently arguing that the issues are connected. D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee suggested on Friday that part of the reason for the uptick in violent crime is connected to the illegal cannabis market, which he says has been deprioritized amid the national reform movement. “When you have something where people get high reward—they can make a lot of money by selling illegal marijuana—and the risk is low, the risk for accountability is very low, that creates a very, very, very, very, very bad situation,” Contee argued at a press conference near the site of a shooting this month. Advocates assert that Congress bears some blame for consistently passing a spending bill rider that bars the District from regulating retail sales after voters approved a 2014 initiative to legalize personal possession and cultivation for adults, thus relegating cannabis commerce to the illegal market. Late last month, a House committee approved a large-scale funding bill that would allow the District to legalize cannabis sales by deleting the rider. The legislation is expected to pass the full House this week. In any case, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked directly on Monday by a Fox News reporter whether the Biden administration thinks “that it may be time to get tougher on marijuana” in light of the chief’s comments. And she notably did not jump at the chance to vilify cannabis despite President Joe Biden’s ongoing opposition to adult-use legalization.
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Source : White House Declines To Blame Marijuana Sales For Violent Crime Spike Despite D.C. Police Chief’s Comments
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