Currently, possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense in DC. It is punishable with up to a $1,000 fine and six months in prison. The bill from Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) would instead make possession of up to one ounce only a civil infraction punishable with just a $100 fine.
The bill already has support of a majority of the council and received a big boast on Wednesday when Mayor Vincent Gray (D), for the first time ever, publicly backed decriminalization. According to the Washington Post the mayor said, “I support decriminalization. Legalization is another issue. I’m not there on that issue, yet”
Now that the issue has support from the entire DC government it is likely some form of decriminalization legalization will be approved in the near future. Hopefully, if the council approves the bill Congress will choose not to intervene.
Photo by thisisbossi under Creative Commons license