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D.C. Drops Punishment for Smoking Marijuana in Public

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By Associated Press

(AP) — People caught smoking marijuana in public in the nation’s capital will now get a citation instead of being taken into custody.

News outlets report DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham announced the policy change, effective immediately. Metropolitan police already had the option to forgo arrests, but this new rule mandates it, in an effort to better allocate law enforcement resources.

Those who qualify to receive a citation must go to a police station for booking within 15 days and will either pay a $25 fine or go to court.

Some aren’t eligible for citations, though, including minors, people with outstanding warrants and those who police think won’t answer the citation.

The District allows people to possess 2 ounces (57 grams) of marijuana.

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