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Don Ryan, Associated Press
Shane Mckee, co-founder of Shango Premium Cannabis dispensary, shows a sample of medical marijuana in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. Oregon voters have made their state the third to legalize recreational pot, but it will be more than a year before the first shops open. But dispensaries that already sell medical marijuana are expected to start taking steps to get their applications in to sell recreational weed as well.

WASHINGTON — The national debate over marijuana prohibition is shifting to the backyard of the new Republican-controlled Congress.

The District of Columbia was one of three places where voters approved ballot initiatives on Tuesday that would legalize pot.

But unlike Oregon and Alaska, the District's initiative will force Congress to make decisions that could affect pot's future nationwide.

Congress has the power to review and overturn all local laws in the nation's capital. Republican Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland is vowing to block legalization. But Republicans are far from united — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says pot laws should be left to local officials in the District and the states.