WAMU reporter Martin Austermuhle is reporting that on Wednesday, July 10th, D.C. Councilmen Tommy Wells and Marion Barry will introduce legislation to reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana from 180 days in jail to a $100 fine. This change – called decriminalization – is already the law in 18 states. It would mean that 6,000 fewer people would be arrested each year in the District, and the lives and advancement of young people would not be interrupted with a criminal conviction for pot.
Seven Council votes would necessary for passage, and any bill would have to survive the usual period of congressional review. Nevertheless, it introduction gives us something tangible to get behind – and get behind it we must.