Mica Says D.C. Marijuana Decriminalization Creates Potential Conflict

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: House Republicans will single out the District’s marijuana decriminalization bill during a May 8 hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations .

Witnesses from the D.C. Council, the National Park Service and the various law enforcement agencies with a footprint in the District will be invited to testify, according to Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., who holds the gavel on the subcommittee.

“It’s against federal law to do certain things on federal property, versus now the District is looking at a minimal penalty,” Mica told CQ Roll Call on Wednesday.

The bill, which could be law as soon as mid-July, would drop the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal offense, which carries up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, down to a civil offense with a fine of $25. It would also reduce the maximum penalty for smoking marijuana from a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, down to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.