But the effort could be frustrated by Congress, which reviews all new laws in the District and has moved to block its other recent efforts to ease up on marijuana laws. Last month, the Republican-controlled House took a big step toward blocking a decriminalization bill passed by city lawmakers. That measure would make marijuana possession a civil offense subject to a $25 fine, one of the lowest in the nation.
Congress used a similar amendment to block the District from implementing its medical marijuana program for 10 years.
The push for more liberal marijuana laws is not limited to full legalization of the drug. Florida voters will be deciding whether to allow the drug for medicinal use.
A poll by Quinnipiac University in May found overwhelming support for medical marijuana in Florida, where it will require support from 60 percent of voters to pass in November. Nearly 9 out of 10 voters said they support allowing adults to use the drug for medical purposes. Support was over 80 percent for all age groups.
State lawmakers voted this year to legalize a strain of low-potency marijuana to treat epilepsy and cancer patients.
NEW YORK (medical)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill over the weekend making his state the 23rd to allow medical marijuana, though his state will have one of the most restrictive programs in the country.
The drug isn't expected to be available for at least 19 months while the state works out regulations.
Patients with one of 10 diseases will be allowed to use the drug, but it must be ingested or vaporized; smoking it will remain illegal. Some advocates argued it is too restrictive but called it an important step.