Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Signed and Sent to Congress for Approval

From a press release:

“The mayor of the District of Columbia signed a bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. The bill was authored by DC Councilmember Tommy Wells and championed by advocates from across the city including the NAACP, ACLU, Washington Lawyers Committee and the Drug Policy Alliance. The bill will now proceed to a 60 day review period by the United States Congress. All District laws are subject to Congressional review.

What the bill does:

Drops the simple possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal offense, which carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, down to a civil offense with a fine of $25.

Outside of Alaska, that would be the smallest monetary fine of any of the states that have decriminalized the drug.

Reduces the maximum penalty for smoking marijuana from a $1000 fine and six months in jail to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The production, sale, and possession of over an ounce would remain a criminal offense.”

18 Comment

  • yessss

  • clevelanddave

    Great, just what we need, more people, particularly young people smoking/vaping/using marijuana.

    • I know. Can you imagine? We need to provide them healthy munchy options.

    • less people serving time, not able to get jobs after incarceration.

      • I support decriminalization, but really dislike this argument. We should decriminalize theft as well, because that leaves people without options after incarceration as well.
        There are plenty of valid justifications for decriminalization, I just don’t see this as being one of them.

        • you’re seriously comparing theft to smoking pot? uh, are you high!?

          • OP here. That is my point.
            If you are going to say that the justification for decriminalizing weed is that being jailed limits future opportunities, you aren’t addressing the fact that smoking weed just isn’t a jail-worthy crime. Consequences are consequences. The variable is if they are the right consequences for the transgression.

            (Nope, not high. Are you drunk?)

          • Limited future opportunities for those charged under current laws is one of the main reasons this bill has succeeded – unless you think having a felony charge on your record doesn’t prevent one from becoming gainfully employed? Just saying that smoking weed isn’t a jail-worthy crime is not a conversation that can take place in the District, yet. For now, proponents of decriminalization/legalization should be happy about this.

          • Seems to me the arguments are closely related. The act of marijuana possession is not worthy of criminal penalties and the long-term effects those penalties can have.

    • gotryit

      I think that those who wanted to smoke it before were already doing so.

    • You again? Worried about your Drug War-funded paycheck drying up?
      Someone plz wake me up when I can start growing.

  • What blows my mind is the thought that anyone caught breaking this law, can not possibly have stopped themselves, therefore we must change the law. Why not just say this is the law, unless you are deemed by court to be so stupid or disabled you can’t read, hear, or comprehend the law, then you must obey it.

    Everyone acts as if smoking pot is the equivalent of eating a meal, you just simply must do it to survive.

    How much time, energy, money could have been saved by not even considering this bill? What type of message does this send to a person prone to breaking laws for their own pleasure? Is it saying don’t worry about the consequences of laws, just do what ever you like?

    I think we will see crime rise if this actually passes. People make the case that nobody on pot commits crimes on anything other than a bag of chips but reality shows that is not the case. Pot is a starter crime, soon you are looking for something to steal or somebody to hold up so you can afford to buy your pot, then you are dealing pot in the schools………………. it is a stupid hole to go down. Either make it all legal or illegal, outside of medical reasons.

    • I get really tempted to hold someone up so I can afford the wasabi seaweed crisps at Trader Joe’s.
      They aren’t one of the major food groups either, so I think they should be outlawed.

    • Actually, I think that the usual comparison that’s made is to suggest that post is the equivalent of alcohol — and it’s often suggested that the consequences of alcohol abuse far outweigh the consequences and/or probable consequences of pot use.
      As for those people prone to breaking laws for their own pleasure — well, there are a lot of speeding tickets out there….. Another point that’s made frequently is that “the consequences of laws” are hardly meted out in an equitable way. Many drug laws and policies illustrate this quite clearly. As to “pot” being a “starter crime” — all I can say is please provide some documented evidence to support this.

  • So having an ounce of weed will cost me less ($25) than not having my front license plate properly displayed (e.g. drilled into my bumper) ($50). I’m down with that, but I wish the District could also give reasonable parking fines instead of using them to fill their coffers.

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