History was made today when 9 of the 13 members of the DC Council signed on to legislation to decriminalize less than 1 oz of marijuana. Thank you to those who worked long to bring this important issue forward. A final vote won’t come until fall.
After years of silence, Council members spoke out with not only their votes, but their hearts. Council members Wells, Barry, Evans, McDuffie, Bonds, Graham, Grosso, Catania and Cheh all co-introduced the decriminalization pot bill. Here’s some of what they had to say:
Bill lead sponsor Tommy Well, Ward 6: “We are going to really acknowledge that the war on drugs, in particular marijuana, have worked to criminalize many of your youth and disadvantaged them from being able to get jobs”
Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5: “As a former prosecutor tasked with prosecuting marijuana cases, I’ve seen first hand the injustice perpetuated by a disparate arrest rate. The impact on individual lives & families can’t be understated or ignored.”
Marion Barry, Ward 8: “With African-Americans arrested 8 TIMES!! more than other users, who use marijuana at the same rates, this bill will stop disparate effects.”
Mary Cheh, Ward 3 (and professor of constitutional law) “Proud to co-introduce a bill that will decriminalize 1 ounce of marijuana in DC. Time to stop locking up people for minor drug offenses.”
Read more at Tim Craig’s reporting at the Washington Post here.