D.C. Voters: Please support tomorrow’s vote to decriminalize marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia

Feb 03, 2014 D.C. Voters: Please support tomorrow’s vote to decriminalize marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia

Tomorrow, February 4, the District of Columbia City Council votes on proposed legislation to heavily decriminalize marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia. Last October, a vast majority of councilmembers and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray got behind the idea. If you are a D.C. voter, please contact your Councilmembers now, before tomorrow’s vote, to support this decriminalization.

Here is the latest version of the proposed marijuana decriminalization bill that I could find, from the .City Council’s agenda for tomorrow. The decriminalization legislation mainly amends D.C. Code §§ 48-902.01 and 48.2-904.01. Here is the January 15, 2014, committee report on the legislation. The local ACLU’s October 2013 discussion of the legislation is here.

The D.C. marijuana decriminalization legislation was introduced in July 2013 by eight of the thirteen councilmembers. Among those introducing the legislation was Councilmember Mary Cheh, who was my corporate law professor in 1987. By October 2013, ten of thirteen of the Councilmembers had signed onto the legislation.

I lived in the District of Columbia from 1987 through 2002. I regret that I will not be able to call myself a D.C. resident and voter when this monumental legislation passes tomorrow, and likely gets signed into law soon after by Mayor Gray.

To the United States Congress, I say stay out of the way of this legislative action, even though Congress gets to give thumbs up or down to D.C. legislation, in D.C.’s sadly non-state role in the nation. D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization legislation is the wave of the now and future, following the path of Colorado and Washington state.

To voters outside the District of Columbia, I urge your to urge your federal House and Senate members to stay out of the way of this D.C. marijuana decriminalization legislation.

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