This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017.
Washington • As Rep. Jason Chaffetz looks to leave office, one of his unintentional legacies could be this: propping up an underground market for marijuana in the nation’s capital and making dealers more money.
Chaffetz, R-Utah, helped lead the charge to block a voter-approved law in the District of Columbia to legalize adult marijuana use in 2015. Congress didn’t overturn the law but prohibited the district from using any money to implement it, meaning that while residents age 21 and older can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and smoke legally in their own homes, the city couldn’t set up any system for weed to be legally sold.
Enter the city’s nonlicensed, nonregulated purveyors of pot who were more than happy to step up and sell their product to a new customer base.