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District Of Columbia: Lawmakers Enact Marijuana Depenalization Plan

Thursday, 05 March 2015

District Of Columbia: Lawmakers Enact Marijuana Depenalization Plan

Washington, DC: District of Columbia officials have implemented a voter-approved initiative depenalizing offenses involving the personal possession and/or cultivation of cannabis by adults.

The new municipal measure, which took effect last Thursday, permits adults to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and to cultivate up to six plants (no more than three mature at any one time) in one's primary residence without penalty. Not-for-profit transactions involving small amounts of the substance are also permitted.

Seventy percent of District voters in November decided in favor of the measure (Initiative 71).

For-profit sales of cannabis are prohibited under the law as is the retail production or distribution of the plant. The consumption of cannabis in public or on federal property is also prohibited, as is use of the plant inside any local business or social club. DC lawmakers enacted emergency legislation on Tuesday to impose the latter restrictions, which were not included in the initiative.

District officials moved forward with the measure's enactment despite threats from federal lawmakers that doing so violates the intent of Congress.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.