The possession of small amounts of marijuana in the nation's capital could soon be no more than a ticketable offense. A decriminalization bill is set to move in the city council, with a committee vote set for tomorrow.The council's Judiciary and Public Safety Committee will vote on Council Bill 20-409, the "Simple Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2013," which decriminalizes the possession of up to an ounce. The committee is expected to pass the measure.
It then moves to the full council, where it is also expected to pass.
Interestingly, the council's moves on decrim come just days after DC activists filed an initiative that would hop-scotch half-measures like decriminalization and move forward to full legalization. We are planning a feature article this week on the initiative campaign, and one thing we'll be asking people is how the politics of city council decrim intersects with the politics of legalization through the popular vote.
In the meantime, the Drug Policy Alliance, which has been working closely with DC functionaries and elected officials on the decrim effort, has a press release with more information. Stay tuned!