The District of Columbia should soon have a pro-marijuana legalization mayor. On Tuesday night D.C. council member Muriel Bowser easily beat incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray in the crowded Democratic mayorial primary. Bowser now goes on to the general election.
Democrats have a huge registration advantage in the district giving Bowser a massive built-in advantage. In addition, polling shows her with a large lead over her strongest general election opponent, Independent council member David Catania. The most recent Washington Post poll found Bowser beating Catania 56 percent to 23 percent. The means Bowser is very likely to be the next mayor at the end of this year.
During the campaign season Bowser voted for D.C.’s new marijuana decriminalization bill and came out in support of eventually legalizing marijuana. She told DCist, “My sense is more and more Washingtonians think consenting adults should be able to buy marijuana legally and use marijuana in their private homes.” And further, “the next step is how we make legal purchase of marijuana available in D.C.”
This is very significant because the position of mayor of D.C. is unlike any other mayor in the country, since it is not part of a state. The powers and responsibilities are more comparable to that of a governor because it is the highest level of local office. The only layer above it is the federal government.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy
Photo by Chrystalflicks under Creative Commons license