Decriminalize-It: D.C. Council Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

Pot heads rejoice! Kind of. Coincidentally, days before perhaps ganja’s most visible champion, Bob Marley’s birthday, the Washington D.C. Council voted 11-1 to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the District. This doesn’t mean you can roll up a joint in front of the White House; under the proposed bill written by council member (and mayoral candidate) Tommy Wells, folks caught with it would be fined $25 for possessing less than one ounce or $100 for smoking it in public. 

How’s this a win for fans of the daze inducing substance? If the bill is passed (it’s still facing another vote and must be signed by Mayor Vincent Gray) offenders would not face criminal charges or have a criminal record. You wouldn’t escape jail time of course, but the sentence would be lessened six months to 60 days. 

As of today, 91 percent of people arrested in D.C. for possession are Black, I don’t have to tell you that’s a disproportionate amount of us colored folks. I have plenty of white friends and associates in the District who light up, while wearing three piece suits, and work on the hill. Yep. But I digress. Right now if you’re caught with any amount of the substance, it’s a misdemeanor with up to six months of imprisonment and a fine of $1,000. 

The verdict: Say no to drugs kids, it’s just not worth it in the nation’s capital. And if you MUST light up, for 4/20 or something, head to Colorado where it’s been legalized.

– Angel


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