Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em: Lax Enforcement Of D.C. Litter Law Bodes Ill For Marijuana Citations

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  D.C. police say four out of five violators simply ignore citations for littering — a possible indicator of the difficulty the District will have collecting fines on tickets for marijuana possession, which use the same enforcement mechanism and are off to a similarly slow rate of compliance.

Marijuana decriminalization took effect July 17. As of Friday, police had issued 35 civil tickets for marijuana possession. Although violators have 14 days to respond to the tickets, no one issued a citation had either paid the $25 fine or contested a ticket, according to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Littering enforcement has been only slightly more effective.

Of 91 littering tickets issued since the start of last year, 14 people paid the fines, according to data provided by the Office of Administrative Hearings, which adjudicates tickets for both offenses. Police issued 70 littering tickets in 2012, but only six fines were paid.




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