Speed Reads

Pot politics

Pot legalization in D.C. could pose a challenge to international anti-drug treaties

More than two-thirds of D.C. voters who took to the polls during the midterm elections were in favor of legalizing marijuana, but the will of the people may actually go against international treaties, according to Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The Washington Times reports that congressional researchers have concluded that "allowing marijuana legalization in the District leaves the United States vulnerable to charges it is violating international treaties aimed at stemming the drug trade." Fedotov said he would take up the issue with the State Department and other U.N. agencies.

Congress has final say about local D.C. laws, and the Congressional Research Service says that Initiative 71 "could be considered the most direct affront to international agreements."

According to the Times, "Members could block implementation through a 'rider' attached to a larger bill, or the House and Senate could pass a rare joint disapproval resolution that would also require the signature of President Obama."

The fate of the bill is still uncertain, however: Reports suggest that Congress is showing little interest in blocking the law.