Home News Afro Briefs Originally published January 15, 2014

DC Council to Take up Pot Decriminalization Bill

by Associated Press

    Council of the District of Columbia. (Courtesy Image)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — District of Columbia lawmakers are scheduled to vote on legislation that would decriminalize small amount of marijuana.

The bill is being taken up Wednesday by the D.C. Council's public safety committee.

The measure would eliminate criminal penalties for people who possess one ounce or less of marijuana. Instead, they would be fined and the drug would be seized.

Currently under D.C. law, possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

Councilmember Tommy Wells, who chairs the committee, says there are "undeniable racial disparities" in marijuana arrests and that criminal justice reform is needed.

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