Marijuana backers talk to reporters on Nov. 5, 2014 in Anchorage the day after voters made Alaska, along with Washington, D.C., the fourth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. (Ted S. Warren, The Associated Press)

Editorial: ‘Wake up, Congress. Approve D.C.’s vote. Take pot off Schedule I’

With voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., passing measures to approve legalizing marijuana and polls reflecting a growing acceptance of the idea, Congress should begin to get the message.

The first test for the new Republican-controlled Congress will be whether it approves Washington, D.C.’s vote, which passed by a 2-to-1 margin and would allow residents and visitors to have up to 2 ounces of marijuana for personal use and home cultivation of up to three plants.

Federal lawmakers who have oversight of the District of Columbia shouldn’t deny the democratic process in, of all places, the nation’s capital.

The Washington Post agrees: “Congress should allow D.C.’s marijuana legalization to stand”

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Last week lawmakers, including Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., urged their colleagues to loosen up on marijuana.

“To my fellow Republicans,” said Rohrabacher, who represents the conservative bastion of Orange County, “Wake up! … The American people have shifted on this issue.”

Though marijuana legalization has only come in a handful of states, Colorado included, federal rules and regulations still stand in the way.

Banking restrictions should be lifted to allow businesses to operate and the feds should remove marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which preposterously classifies it among the most dangerous drugs.

Rohrabacher is right. Wake up, Washington. Approve D.C.’s vote. Declassify marijuana, ease banking restrictions, and pull marijuana into the legitimate business world and out from the shadowy black market.

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