Activists take D.C. service requests to Md. congressman Andy Harris

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WASHINGTON (WJLA/AP) - A group of District of Columbia residents on Thursday asked a congressman who wants to block the city from liberalizing its marijuana laws to handle a host of other local concerns.

Md. Rep. Andy Harris. (AP photo)
Some of the 40 D.C. residents who presented neighborhood concerns to self-styled 'local' legislator Andy Harris, R-Md. (Photo: Bruce DePuyt/WJLA)

Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland attached an amendment to a spending bill that would block the city from enforcing its new law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Harris called the law bad policy and said it would lead to a spike in drug use among young people.

City leaders accused Harris of inappropriately meddling in local affairs and called for a boycott of Maryland's Eastern Shore, which he represents.

On Thursday, about 40 people visited Harris' office and sought his help fixing potholes and solving other local problems - an idea first suggested by NewsChannel 8's NewsTalk host Bruce DePuyt (see below). Activists called it a "constituent service day" for Harris.


"We are saying, if you want to tell us how to run this city well then help us out. We have a lot of things to talk about," said Barbara Helmick, an activist with the group D.C. Vote - which organized the visit.

A spokesperson for Harris said he had meetings throughout the day and was unavailable, but his aides did take time to meet with those D.C. residents who showed up.

Later in the day, Harris released a statement saying:"I only wish the members of D.C. Vote cared as much about keeping marijuana out of the hands of teenagers as they care about the right of D.C. residents to do drugs with no consequence."

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