Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced in the District of Columbia

Today, DC City Council Member Tommy Wells introduced legislation that would decriminalize personal possession amounts of marijuana in Washington, DC.

Under the proposed measure, the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana would become a civil infraction, similar to a parking ticket, with a fine of no more than $100. Recent survey data released by Public Policy Polling in April 2013 revealed that 75% of DC residents favored this reform.

“This reform cannot come soon enough,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “The District of Columbia has the highest arrest rate per capita for marijuana charges of any city in the country and those arrests are disproportionately impacting people of color, who are about 8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana charges than their white counterparts, despite similar use rates.”

NORML will keep you updated as this legislation moves forward.

41 thoughts

  1. Harry J. Anslinger told us that the main reason for making marijuana illegal was its effect on the ‘degenerate races’, but they continually insist the vainglorious drug war is not racist.

  2. nice, this is amazing, next we need to legalize in california along with hemp. we should have a bill to legalize it in every state at once, along with hemp, possession, and of course pipes.

  3. Legalizing just gives them more power over it. Cigarettes aren’t legalized. Decriminalize. By legalizing it allows someone to ennact legaslagion in its behalf and tax it.

  4. It should be decriminalized everywhere! Alcohol is legal and drunk drivers kill mass amounts of innocent people every year its ridiculous. The day the world finally realize its stupid pot its legal I am going to buy the best vaporizer and celebrate the right way!

  5. I am not even slightly excited. This kind of measure, is something that they will probably vote down. It’s time, to start introducing more bills to outright legalize small amounts, not just decriminalize. Marijuana needs to be taken to a legal level, away from the law. This just makes the law deal with it in a different way. That is not enough, not near enough. People out there are drinking too much, and then dying from it. People don’t smoke to much pot, and then die. People who smoke too much pot, are just more stoned then others… no harm done, and then they sober later. People don’t get overly addicted, that they near need weed. People don’t go mad crazy, over running out of weed. When you are out, you are out. It’s more of a “Yeah well, so I’m out of weed.” it sucks, but I did run out. Life goes on, and it doesn’t bother me to some sort of crazy uncomfortable level.
    DC should fully legalize, as it would give the feds even more to think about.
    Here’s Hoping, That Someone Starts A Legalize Bill In DC. 😉

    [Editor’s note: The DC ‘decrim’ bill is co-sponsored by 10 of the 12 members of the City Council, so passage seems very likely. Reformers would surely like to legalize cannabis in DC, but since DC is not a state and is controlled by Congress ultimately, decrim is about as far as reformers and policymakers can achieve without Congress stepping in.]

    1. I do realize that this is very old. What I find unbelievable is that DC did somehow manage to legalize small amounts of cannabis. Change for the whole country is coming, there’s no doubt about that. The only real question there is when. There’s no question of (if) as (if) is a has-been. I wouldn’t even think of it that way, if it wasn’t for the four states, and DC.

      I clicked on (Notify me of followup comments via e-mail) so I’ll know it if you reply. 😉

  6. There is a bill to legalize and regulate on the federal level. They’ve just been ignoring it and won’t talk about it. It went to the committee early this year. Search it’s there.

  7. Thought the same bill was pending in TEXAS… We desperately need to get on board with the movement !!

  8. Two ironies in this newfound ‘wisdom’.

    1 – Decriminalization still leaves them able to take your goods

    2 – We will see if our choom-gangster-in-office still hides behind the whitehouse drapes when he partakes, or whether he gets on board with this.

    Scrap the ‘decriminalization’ and LEGALIZE it.

    – (…but at the very least, it is a step in the right direction…)

  9. How much longer must we wait for this criminal act to be upended?? Freedom to grow.. Freedom to medicate myself.. #irunptsd

  10. Police Chief Kathy Lanier thinks this is a ‘flawed policy’. A woman chief over ‘macho’ men is also a socially flawed policy, but it happens. Decriminalization still leaves revenues from sales in the hands of the cartels and that money does nothing to help the local economy. That’s flawed policy, but better than having a criminal record. Someday we’ll get the underground out of the picture. That’ll be a policy that works for everyone, government and civilians. Thank you, Councilman Wells, for trying to help the ‘little man’.

  11. ….if the marijuana species of herb, were hypothetically extinguished in some way;just like the beginning of time, no matter what us humans can do, mother nature will prevail. Always has always will…who made up the word “control” anyways?

  12. I myself have been jailed,fined,my civil rights trampled,and my life interupted and interfered with,more than once.but I now see a day,coming,not soon enough when people wont be turned into criminals for using this wonderful plant, for any reason they see fit.keep up the good work,norml,and those of us that think herbs are better than chemicals.see you all down on the farm… Pax cannabica! Your friendly gardener, DODO

  13. wait…they’re decriminalize personal possession only?? what about transfer to another? where will the thing come from if it’s not supplied by someone? can someone take away the alcohol and the other psychoactive legal drugs from the possession of these lawmakers so they can sober up and think clearly?

  14. This is bullshit. Of course the people in congress, the white house etc can decriminalize it for themselves, and the rest of us can go to hell. This is an outrage.

  15. might not be full out legalization but its a start. this is great news still. it will be legal and taxed eventually

  16. Register Libertarian. the fascist assholes and dirtbag socialists are only interested in control of when you eat and shit

  17. I live in D.C. . We have had one of the most restrictive policies regarding cannabis. This is a major step in the right direction. Legalization would be great, but we’ll take what we can get. No criminal charges is wonderfull and makes sensible cannabis policy.

  18. Good news from D.C.

    Like the VRA, which the SCOTUS invalidated because conditions
    have changed, with Citizens, Lawyers, Mayors, States, heads of
    State, and Nations changing their views of cannabis, the conditions
    which led to the prohibition of cannabis have changed!

    When will those intransigents on the Court recognize this change?

    …the W stands for watchers….

  19. The blackmail money the government keeps charging tobacco smokers is a cash cow they just will not give up. They do not care if cigarettes kill you as long as they can keep filling their pockets with money. When ever I hear people try to compare tobacco to pot I cringe. It is not about pot being safer it is about your politicians “Cash Cow” TOBACCO. They run some adds to discourage smoking to make it look like they are on the side of good, and with a wink and a nod they line their pockets with a 100 times more money than is spent on the public service adds. I THINK POLICE LOOTING PROPERTY TO ENRICH THEIR OWN POLICE DEPARTMENTS IS CRIMINAL. THEY HAVE A MOTIVE FOR CORRUPTION. Good move D.C..

  20. There should be no fine at all, none whatsoever. Cannabis crimes (non-crimes) should have the zero priority rating as far as creating a police record, spending D.C. public funds, and to include zero priority on a monetary fine of $0.00. Then the feds would have to do the cannabis policing themselves. It’s no different than states basically saying we’ve legalized it in our way and we’re not going to help you feds enforce cannabis prohibition anymore so you’ll have to do it yourselves.

    See if you can change the bill to that and still get a majority of City Council to pass it. There’s no mention that it gives any protection against someone losing their professional license for whatever in D.C. If there’s no police documentation, there’s nothing to pull somebody’s license, driver’s license, beauticians license or license to practice law or whatever.

    Don’t continue to do the feds’ job for them.

  21. Yeah
    right ther right ther be whats importances. Be trip over nithings but be a plant be throughing brother in jail and shit for a weed man. How abouts them poloitician be tested in urine yeah how bout that. why is it they not have to piss in the cup at there works. be a boudle standerd all the why.

    flyin flinn baby

  22. Haven’t said it in a while but here goes again. You want to go nuclear in this thing. Organize strong movements in Florida and Ohio. The last few presidential elections were decided largely by those two swing states. See who wants to piss off large voting blocs in the two states you can’t win the White House without.

  23. Of course, make it legal for pain relief and recreational purposes, strictly contolled of course.

  24. re: Anonymous says:
    July 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    “See who wants to piss off large voting blocs in the two states you can’t win the White House without.”

    Very interesting point…

  25. Whether you believe in God or not, as a Christian it is my religious right to partake of anything God Himself gave to man. Gen 1:29. Marijuana is a gift from God almighty. It should be 100% legal for whatever you want to do with it. If there is an income or sales tax that applies to you, put it down as self employment and “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” other than that there should be no taxes, and no regulation. It is a harmless plant and when used responsibly, hurts absolutely no one. Even if a child ate the most potent brownie ever made, it would just sleep for a long time! what parent doesn’t need a good break. Ridlin is fine but pot isn’t. Come on. man-made zombie chemical formulas or the best chill medicine you can find. And God made it and Gave it to us.

  26. This is utter and complete bull shit. This will give all of the greedy and strenuous law makers in Congress the ability to smoke weed whenever they choose to do so. If anything this is another win for them. They choose to arbitrarily abuse their ability to utilize insider trading to gain afoot in our economic failure. This is not a win for marijuana supporters, but rather another win for those A**holes in congress. Congratulations for abusing the rules once again. I wish they would actually do something for the general public. I’m so sorry to those fellow freedom fighters out there, but this is over all a giant lose. I also apologize for my misuses of grammar and punctuation, for I am but a lowly engineer in wait for my chance to aid the fight against these greedy mo-fo’s.

    Fight Hard and Die Free

    Matt Mo-Fu**ing Roberts

  27. re: Matt MF Roberts’ comment

    There is at least one benefit:
    they, within that region, have declared cannabis to be potentially legitimate.

    While I agree, it is typical they benefit first, and the most. Things will break down in our favor.

    Keep up the fight.
    Support NORML.
    Make our voices and votes heard and felt.

  28. It should be decriminalized everywhere! Alcohol is legal and drunk drivers kill mass amounts of innocent people every year its ridiculous. The day the world finally realize its stupid pot its legal I am going to buy the
    best bong
    and celebrate the right way!

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