DC Mayor AG Support Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana

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  DC Mayor AG Support Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on October 25, 2013 at 09:08:52 PT
By Andrea Noble, The Washington Times 
Source: Washington Times 

Washington, D.C. -- Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the city’s top attorney lent their qualified support to a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, but they suggested changes to quell concern that people could walk the streets openly smoking joints.The effort, which has support from the majority of D.C. council members, would put the District among a growing number of states eliminating criminal penalties for the drug and test the willingness of federal officials to look the other way when local governments ease marijuana laws.
Testifying Thursday at a D.C. Council committee hearing, Deputy Attorney General Andrew Fois relayed the support of both the mayor and attorney general for the initiative but proposed several amendments. He said criminal penalties should be kept in place at schools and if the drug is being smoked in public places.“In order to ensure the quality of life for all, criminal penalties for possession should be maintained for smoking marijuana where children and citizens are enjoying our parks, playgrounds, sidewalks and other public places,” Mr. Fois said.The decriminalization bill before the council would make possession of an ounce of marijuana or less a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine and require forfeiture of the drug. D.C. Council member Tommy Wells, one of the sponsors of the legislation, said Thursday after listening to concerns about the fine that he plans to lower to $25.“We’re happy to work with you on the amount of the fine,” Mr. Fois said.Dozens of witnesses, including city residents and marijuana advocacy groups, testified on the bill during a committee session that spanned two days. Though many people supported decriminalization and others advocated for full legalization of the drug, some complained that marijuana use was already openly prevalent in the city and that decriminalization would only make the problem worse.“Marijuana is a very popular drug in my neighborhood and neighborhoods like mine,” said 10-year-old LaDaveon Butler as he asked the council to keep pot illegal. “Sometimes I can’t even go outside and play on our playground because teenagers are smoking weed out there.”Other than Colorado and Washington which have legalized marijuana usage, 15 states have some form of marijuana decriminalization on the books, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. But no single standard exists. In Nevada, a 2001 law classifies possession of up to an ounce of marijuana as a misdemeanor on first offense, and a violator can be fined up to $600. In Vermont, which adopted decriminalization laws this year, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is a civil infraction with a fine of $200.Council members debated additional aspects of marijuana decriminalization that could be added to the bill, including whether residents could also grow their own marijuana plants.“I think we are opening up a whole can of worms that we are not going to be getting any positive results for in terms of drying up the illegal supply in the city,” Mr. Fois said.Officials also expressed concern that the civil fines would be difficult to collect unless people stopped by police could face additional charges if they did not truthfully identify themselves to officers. The attorney general’s office opposed suggestions that residents should be able to expunge their prior conviction records for drug-related crimes.Mr. Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, hopes to rework the bill’s language and send it to the full council for a preliminary vote in December and a final vote in January.Noting the wide support for the legislation but the question of whether the District should push for legalization, Mr. Wells said the city shouldn’t jeopardize the bill’s chances by moving too quickly and risking interference by the federal government — which still considers the drug illegal.Source: Washington Times (DC)Author: Andrea Noble, The Washington TimesPublished: October 24, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Washington Times, LLC Website: letters URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #3 posted by museman on October 29, 2013 at 13:06:52 PT
what I want to know is
When are the people going to demand restitution from the thieves that have stolen our land, our resources, and our chances at good and decent lives, instead of bending over continually and taking it up the yin-yang, going "Yes Massa! Yes Massa!" all the way to their graves?$25 to you may seem like a 'small amount' and maybe that is 'ok' -but since My Father in Heaven AKA 'God' and YHWH told me I was free, it is very hard to bend over and present my posterior for the rape of the corporations, bankers and their patsy politicians for something that they are guilty of, not me.And I don't know about you, but since the totally contrived 'economic crisis' that has been played against us, $25 is an important distinction to a veteran on a fixed pension -like me. With that I can feed 3 people for one day, if I am really austere about it.Legal is legal. When that happens, finally actually happens somewhere in the world -and all the compromises I have seen so far are weak, weak, weak, then how can there be fines, or 'rehabilitation' or any of the rest of the establishment BS?But the control and authority has always been the primary concern of all governments, since Sumeria and Babylon. And of course the history -as recorded by those same 'governments' is so slanted, if it were a hill covered in snow, one could ski or sled down it so fast it would require some skill to stop the momentum.The truth is not in the houses of the politicians or governments. It never has been and it never will be. Houses built on lies must be leveled to dust before they can be replaced by the habitations of truth can replace them.That leveling could be achieved simply within the hearts and minds of the gazillion slaves who mindlessly serve mammon and mammon's lords for a pittance of materiality, or a significant number of awake, conscious human beings who have bravely denied the lies and stand on the truth.But as long as the masses continue to support failures all they can expect out of their lives is the spinning wheels of chasing carrot on sticks, and in the end they will lie on their deathbeds asking the belated question; "Why did i waste my life on such garbage?" I know. I've been by a few of those deathbeds now and the question remains the same.But the vital youth and those who cling to false vitality think their future is somehow going to come into their own control, and that the things they have contracted with mammon for are temporal and useless in the actual reality of human life on planet earth are somehow 'right'. They are wrong. If the dead could speak they would be yelling in these people's ears crying;"Wake up you fools!"LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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