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D.C. On The Verge Of Decriminalizing Marijuana

By Ian Millhiser

"D.C. On The Verge Of Decriminalizing Marijuana"

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With little fanfare, and in record speed, marijuana decriminalization appears to have achieved more than enough support to become law in the District of Columbia. According to the Washington Post’s Aaron Davis, ten of D.C.’s 13 city council members signed onto a bill that will “make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana punishable by a fine of no more than $100,” and Mayor Vincent Gray (D) announced his support for decriminalization earlier this week.

It’s worth nothing that this stance in support of decriminalization, while not yet widespread among lawmakers, is somewhat to the right of the majority of the American people. A recent Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans support outright legalization of marijuana — not just decriminalization.

The Obama Administration has struggled somewhat to adapt to this new political landscape. While DOJ announced in August that prosecutors should scale back prosecutions of marijuana dispensaries that are “demonstrably in compliance with a strong and effective [state] regulatory system,” some individual U.S. Attorneys plan to continue aggressive action against dispensaries in compliance with state law.

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