Pot Laws Loosened in Nation's Capital

Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 04:00 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A measure decriminalizing marijuana in the U.S. capital got final approval from Washington's city council on Tuesday, a move that would make smoking pot a violation comparable to a parking ticket.

The bill, which passed the second of two votes with the support of 10 of the 13 city councilors, will now go to the desk of Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray, who supports the measure.

"It will have a profound impact on the people of the District of Columbia to decriminalize this marijuana," said Councilman David Grosso, adding that he looks forward to the "next step" of taxing and regulating the sale of marijuana.

"I think that should be done expeditiously here in this body and, hopefully, with the support of our mayor."

While marijuana is still illegal under federal law, 15 U.S. states and a handful of cities have removed the threat of arrest for possession of small amounts of the drug. Colorado and Washington state have gone farther and legalized marijuana outright, a step that Rhode Island is also considering.

Supporters of the District's bill have portrayed decriminalization as a way to cut law enforcement costs and increase fairness.

The new legislation "moves us in the right direction," said the bill's sponsor, Tommy Wells, noting that there are more than 5,000 arrests per year for marijuana possession in Washington.

An American Civil Liberties Union study has shown that eight times more black people are arrested for pot possession in the district than people of other races.

The bill makes possession of less than an ounce of pot a civil violation. The penalty is a $25 fine, lower than most city parking tickets.

Possession in Washington is now a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, except for the handful of patients who use medical marijuana.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Judge Orders Extra Voting Help for Alaska Natives

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 20:37 PM

A federal judge on Monday ordered the state to take additional steps to provide voting materials to Alaska Native voters . . .

Pew Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Want More Religion in Politics

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 19:55 PM

Almost half of Americans think religion and politics should mix, according to a new survey.
 . . .

GAO: Feds' Consumer Watchdog Not Protecting Credit Data

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 19:45 PM

The agency created by President Barack Obama to protect consumers from financial fraud has amassed sensitive credit-card . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved