Marijuana laws are loosening again in the United States and this time, it’s happening right on our nation’s doorstep — Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, the D.C. Council voted to ease marijuana laws by a near unanimous vote. The council decided to lessen penalties for public and private consumption of weed and decriminalize the possession of small quantities of the drug.
According to CNN, the move puts D.C.’s marijuana laws among the most lenient in the nation, but the bill’s proponents didn’t receive everything they set out to get.
Originally, advocates had lobbied for a bill that would have significantly loosened laws for public consumption of marijuana and lessened penalties even more.
But when the council met last month to first consider the proposal, an amendment was added that brought the bill closer to its final form.
The approved legislation is as follows:
- Moves the possession of an ounce or less or marijuana from a criminal offense – which came with six months in jail or a $1,000 fine – to a civil offense that comes with a fine of $25.
- Public consumption of marijuana is still a misdemeanor offense, but penalty is lowered for smoking marijuana in public from a $1,000 fine or six months in jail to a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.
The bill, however, does have some kinks to work out.
For example, the smell of marijuana would not allow police officers to make an arrest, but the sight of marijuana smoke would. Interesting.
For more information on the new measure, click here.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty