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Obama opposes effort to stop D.C. pot legalization

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama opposes a measure that would stop the District of Columbia from legalizing marijuana, but he still plans to sign a major spending that would do just that.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday that despite some reservations, Obama would sign the $1.1 trillion spending bill if it reaches his desk.

District voters approved an initiative in November that legalizes possession of small amounts of pot. The bill contains language inserted by Republicans that would prevent the city from moving forward with legalization.

Earnest says the president believes Congress shouldn’t interfere with the will of city residents on marijuana and other issues. Obama supports statehood for the District, and Earnest says the president believes “on principle” that Congress shouldn’t interfere with a local initiative.