A remarkable marijuana decriminalization law has gone into effect in Washington D.C. The new law will hopefully help to end D.C.’s excessive racial profiling drug-related (particularly marijuana) arrests.
The district has replaced jail time with a simple $25 fine for any person found to be in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.
Grant Smith, with the Drug Policy Alliance put it best when he said, “We are hopeful that marijuana decriminalization will reduce excessive racial disparities in the enforcement of D.C’s marijuana laws.”
And they are definitely on the right track. The $25 fine is the lowest out of all the states in the US that have chosen to implement a fine in place of jail time for people caught with personal amounts of marijuana. They have also taken a massive stride by putting an end to the “stop-and-frisk” laws that unfairly targeted minorities, as well as prohibiting using the smell of marijuana as probable cause to search.
This is an exciting time in our nation’s capital, where voters will have the opportunity to decide whether the District of Columbia will become the third state to legalize marijuana for recreational use this November.