Decriminalization means that just one ounce or less of marijuana is a civil offense – its still prohibited, but the penalty is reduced to a civil infraction. Instead of arrest and prosecution, you will be ticketed and fined. No arrest (phew!) and no criminal record (major!). No need to hire a criminal defense lawyer either.
However, under new amendments to the Decriminalization Bill, smoking in public will still be a criminal offense, subject to arrest and prosecution. Todays’s bill now goes to the Mayor, who said he would sign it, and then is subject to a 60 day congressional review period. So the law is not effective yet, and possession of any amount of marijuana continues to be a criminal offense. Stay tuned