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

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: On Wednesday, a D.C. police officer who caught someone carrying a small amount of marijuana was required to launch his suspect on an onerous journey through the criminal justice system — possibly involving handcuffs, fingerprinting and forensic analysis.

On Thursday, that same officer faces the simpler task of pulling out a ticket book and checking a box: littering, or possession of marijuana?

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

Advocates Press For Marijuana Legalization Measure On D.C. Ballot

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The District should set aside the warnings of its attorney general and let voters decide whether they want to legalize marijuana possession in the nation’s capital, advocates for the measure argued Tuesday before the D.C. Board of Elections.

The band of marijuana advocates is seeking to make the District one of the first East Coast cities to legalize marijuana possession. If it successfully gets the measure on the November ballot, legalization has a strong chance of being approved, according to a recent Washington Post poll, and it could hasten the arrival in Washington of a debate that has simmered mostly in Western states.

Last week, D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan urged the Elections Board to reject the proposed ballot initiative, saying it would put at least one aspect of D.C. law in conflict with federal law.

Marion Barry, DC Council Aim To Decriminalize Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Thanks partly to D.C. councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry, the nation’s capital could soon join the states of Colorado and Washington in decriminalizing small amounts of non-medical marijuana.

D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells proposed “The Simple Possession of Small Quantities Of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2013″ at a public hearing Wednesday. [Read more…]