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Washington DC Poised To Decriminalize Cannabis


washington dc decriminalization marijuana possessionOur nation’s capitol has already legalized medical cannabis, including the licensing and regulation of medical dispensaries.  Washington, D.C., may just move one step closer to legalizing cannabis for all adults by decriminalizing personal use.

From the New York Daily News:

Washington, D.C.’s city council will vote on a measure that would decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, making it a civil violation punishable with a fine of $100.

At a news conference, Councilmember Tommy Wells, chairman of the council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, noted a recent American Civil Liberties Union report that marijuana arrests in the nation’s capital are more than three times the national average and that African-Americans in the District are eight times more likely to be arrested for pot possession than whites.

Under current laws in the capital, possession of any amount of marijuana is a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Marijuana rights advocates said the Washington measure is too long in coming.

Decriminalizing personal amounts of cannabis is a great step in the right direction.  Simple possession misdemeanor charges, while usually not resulting in lengthy prison sentences, can still hinder employment and educational opportunities.  More and more Americans are quickly learning the folly of unduly punishing cannabis consumers, particularly when our nation’s past three presidents used cannabis at some point during their youth.  It will be interesting to see how Congress reacts to this move, if the measure passes, and even more so when D.C. residents choose to end the War on Cannabis altogether and legalize cannabis for all adults.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. “Decriminalization” isnt much different from “Criminalization”. Its a hell of a lot closer to Criminalization than Legalization. You still get fined hundreds of dollars for carrying a few grams. You still get your weed confiscated that you paid good money for. You still might be forced into drug courts. Its still a felony punishable with as much as life in prison for growing a single plant for your own use or carrying more than an ounce. Theres no safe legal market to buy it from. Your still forced to deal with dangerous criminals to buy marijuana. Theres not much difference. Its like putting a bandaid on a cancer.

  2. We as adults should have the freedom to smoke marijuana if we want too. The government needs to stop telling people how they should live their life’s. We are suppose to be the land of the free. With marijuana being a crime in any amount, that is NOT FREEDOM .

  3. Whereas:
    The Ninth Amendment clearly states;

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed
    to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


    The Right of the People to control the chemistry, mind altering or not, of one’s own body.
    The right to posses, share, cultivate, distribute & engage in commerce of any and all natural substances.
    As-well as the right to free, impartial information on all substances this right may refer.
    This right shall exist without the undue imposition of law or administrative order.

  4. True Decriminalization carries with it 0 fines..Thus the name..(De- Criminalize) As in Not a Crime.
    Fines defeat the true purpose of it.

  5. Didn’t I just read that DC spends $40 PER CAPITA per year on marijuana law enforcement? Who decided that was the best use of taxpayer money?


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