Well, Congress ain't gonna like them apples. But hey, I can already sense the feeding frenzy this news will cause over at MSNBC headquarters.
While this will certainly change the way Metro police in DC handle marijuana possession (now you'll get a beating and a ticket, instead of a beating and thrown in jail), it's worth noting that DC is covered with Federal property that is under the jurisdiction of Federal law enforcement including the FBI, Secret Service, US Marshals, Smithsonian Police, US Park Police and Capitol Hill Police (to name just a few that come to mind). If residents of the District are busted by any of them
on Federal property, it's a felony just like it's always been.
EDIT: sorry - it's not just on Federal property, it's by a Federal agent. I guess there's a question about jurisdiction for some of the above agencies, but not all.
Crap, he's right. I didn't think of that major loophole.
If they take baby steps like this toward legalization, it won't look like they were actually wrong to make it illegal in the first place.
Based on this info, maybe decriminalization is purely a budgetary move.
The Council should have just gone with straight up legalization. $25/oz is less than sales tax.
Double jump, if they are playing budgetary checkers. Reduced jail/court/enforcement costs, the big $, plus a tiny revenue stream via the tiny fine that is routed through an existing system.
Feds need to get on board, that's 2 states & a district. Who is next? Whaddup NYC, thought you thought you were cool?
The penalty for crack is still serving as mayor, though.
This is great and all, but its still a big sick bird on the federal level. What that means is, if you get a "ticket" in DC, the feds can still charge you and send you to jail. I know this because I once got a $50 ticket in Denver for just such an occasion. The next time I had a "run in" with the feds (crossing the border) they were using the threat of charging me under federal law for getting that ticket almost 15 years ago.
These are all small gains. Until its decriminalized on the federal level, its still business as usual.
…$25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.
But you still get to keep the weed after you pay the fine, right??
I went to a Roger Waters concert in D.C. a while back ("The Wall",) and some guy near me was disappointed when he saw other people lighting up. "Dammit, I didn't bring anything to smoke because I figured...you know, nation's capital and all." Maybe next time...
Although as a happy consequence this probably will make for fewer embarrassing incidents involving the offspring of politicians, this isn't for them, tourists, or rich kids driving in from the burbs (remember, selling is still illegal!), it's about ending the practice of police harassment under the pretense of possession and ensuring poor kids can still be eligible for things like federal loans despite getting caught with a joint as a teen
Re: Feeding frenzy at MSNBC headquarters
I'm waiting to see the storm of political correctness coming from Fox News about how terrible this will be For The Children.
Not only that, now they also deport you to Toronto.
Bitch set me up! Heh, this episode actually came up in conversation over dinner just tonight.
Because they failed to legalize it, the sellers are still the same criminals. Decriminalization may increase sales, resulting in even more money going toward violence in Mexico.
In your list, don't forget one of the leaders in marijuana decriminalization: Ann Arbor!
something tells me a bunch of DC cops will never "get the memo"
Well, I'm glad to see something go in the right direction. This false puritanism has to go yesterday.