D.C. Marijuana Possession Arrests Drop By 99% In 2015

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Washington D.C. just celebrated its first anniversary of legalized recreational marijuana. Last November, D.C. implemented laws that legalized marijuana use, possession and cultivation within a person’s home, but not the retailing of marijuana.

The Metropolitan Police Department’s recently released data reveal marijuana possession arrests drastically reduced, by 99.2%, in 2015. Here is a look at marijuana possession arrests in previous years:

2011: 2346

2012: 1553

2013: 1215

2014: 895

2015: 7

“I’m not policing the city as a mom, I’m policing it as the police chief — and 70% of the public supported [legalization],” said Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

Obama Frees Dozens Of Nonviolent Federal Inmates

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: President Barack Obama announced Monday that he has granted dozens of federal inmates their freedom, as part of an effort to counteract draconian penalties handed out to nonviolent drug offenders in the past.

The 46 inmates who had their sentences reduced represent a small fraction of the tens of thousands of inmates who have applied. The U.S. Justice Department prioritizes applications from inmates who are nonviolent, low-level offenders, have already served at least a decade in prison, and would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted today, among other factors.

“I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around,” Obama wrote in a letter to the inmates. “Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change. Perhaps even you are unsure of how you will adjust to your new circumstances.”

Obama Plans Clemency For “Hundreds, Perhaps Thousands” Of People Sentenced For Drug Law Violations

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Scrawled on the inside of Barbara Scrivner’s left arm is a primitive prison tattoo that says “Time Flies.”

If only that were the case.

For Scrivner, time has crawled, it’s dawdled, and on bad days, it’s felt like it’s stood completely still. She was 27 years old when she started serving a 30-year sentence in federal prison for selling a few ounces of methamphetamine. Now, 20 years later, she feels like she’s still living in the early ’90s—she’s never seen or touched a cellphone, she still listens to her favorite band, the Scorpions, and she carefully coats her eyelids in electric blue eye shadow in the morning.

It’s out there, outside of prison, where time flies.

On a sunny afternoon at a federal prison outside San Francisco last month, Scrivner nervously clutched a manila envelope full of photos of herself and her daughter that she keeps in her cell. As she displays the pictures, Scrivner’s daughter Alannah, who was just 2 years old when her mom was put away, changes from a redheaded, freckled young kid to a sullen teen to a struggling young mom. Scrivner changes in the photos, too. At first she’s a plump-cheeked beauty with chestnut-brown hair, then she’s a bleached-blonde woman in her early 30s, before becoming increasingly gaunt as the years grind on.