Decriminalization Arrives, And D.C. Police Prepare For Sea Change In Marijuana Laws

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  On Wednesday, a D.C. cop who catches someone carrying a small amount of marijuana is required to launch his suspect on an onerous journey through the criminal justice system — one likely to involve handcuffs, fingerprinting and forensic analysis.

On Thursday, that same cop will face the simpler task of pulling out a ticket book and checking a box: Littering, or possession of marijuana?

A lengthy civic debate over how best to handle the most minor of drug offenses culminates at midnight Wednesday when a marijuana decriminalization law passed by the D.C. Council this spring completes a 60-day congressional review period and takes effect.


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