WASHINGTON (AP) — The mayor of the District of Columbia and a nonprofit group are urging city residents to boycott the Eastern Shore of Maryland this holiday weekend, because of its congressional representative's efforts to overturn the city's decision to decriminalize marijuana.
The action by Mayor Vincent Gray and DC Vote is aimed at Rep. Andy Harris, who represents Maryland's Eastern Shore, after he successfully attached an amendment to a House budget bill aimed at the city's marijuana law.
"I don't think we should support someone who doesn't support us, who doesn't support democracy, period," Gray said.
Harris said city residents "know better" than to boycott his district.
"Spending the weekend on the beautiful family-friendly Eastern Shore is more important than increasing drug use by DC teenagers," Harris said in a statement.
Kimberly Perry, the director of DC Vote, said the people of the District have nothing against the people of Ocean City or in any other place in Harris' district.
"We hope they understand that the dictatorial action of their representative — along with our lack of a voting representative in Congress — leaves supporters of democracy with few options to respond to his unwarranted attack on DC's local autonomy," Perry said in a statement.
The amendment sponsored by Harris would prohibit the District from using local funds to decriminalize marijuana. Harris argued during a committee work session that children often use marijuana as a gateway drug.
The city's bill is now under a 60-day congressional review. It is expected to take effect in mid-July. It would impose a civil fine of $25 and no criminal penalty on those possessing small amounts of marijuana.
The District is represented in Congress by Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, a non-voting delegate. All locally passed laws must be sent to Congress for review and approval.