D.C. Council Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

From Democracy Now

The Washington, D.C. City Council has given final approval of a measure to decriminalize marijuana. The move would scrap criminal penalties for pot possession in favor of a violation equivalent to a parking ticket. City councilmember and bill sponsor Tommy Wells said the new law will address racial disparities in drug arrests.
Tommy Wells:

“In D.C., over 90 percent of those arrested for marijuana are African-American. We know, with six universities, the black kids are not the only ones smoking pot. And so, first of all, it gets at a social justice issue. And then, once you do have a drug charge, you’re not going to get a job on a construction site. You’re going to have trouble with a commercial driver’s license. A lot of the jobs that are low-barrier entry jobs, you’re disqualified if you have a drug charge.”

Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray has pledged to sign the measure into law. The District of Columbia would join 17 states that have also decriminalized marijuana possession.


One thought on “D.C. Council Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

  1. Canadian Atlantic medical marijuana users greet court decision
    Federal court places injunction on new legislation; will allow patients to use home-grown pot until case heard
    CBC News Posted: Mar 22, 2014 1:35 PM AT Last Updated: Mar 22, 2014 1:35 PM AT
    Medical marijuana user blasts proposed rules

    Debbie Stultz-Giffin is welcoming a Federal Court decision to place a temporary injunction on new rules that would ban home-grown medical marijuana. (CBC)

    Medical marijuana users in the Maritimes are greeting a Federal Court judge’s decision that puts a hold on new Health Canada rules forbidding the use of home-grown pot.

    The court will weigh the constitutionality of federal legislation that directs medication marijuana users to buy only from registered commercial growers.

    The legislation was due to come into force April 1, but the temporary injunction delays it until the case can be heard by the courts.

    That’s a relief to Debbie Stultz-Giffin, with Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana.

    “It seemed to be, especially the last few weeks, coming down the pipe awfully fast,” she said of the legislation. “The mood swing of patients was anywhere between out-and-out sheer terror or absolute defiance.”

    One of the concerns with the new legislation is that medical marijuana produced by companies will be too expensive and some users may not be able to afford it.

    Stultz-Giffin said she believes the court will ultimately strike down the new law, siding with patients and allowing them to keep producing their own medical marijuana.

    The roughly 40,000 Canadians with an authorization to possess medical marijuana will be allowed to continue to do so under the injunction, though they will only be permitted to hold up to 150 grams


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