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.
“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.