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Gray Backs Bill Decriminalizing Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana

The Gray administration is throwing its support behind a D.C. Council proposal to decriminalize marijuana.

The measure to make the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil fine and not a criminal penalty has the support of a majority of the D.C. Council, and now it appears the mayor is on board too.

A deputy attorney general testified on Thursday at the Council that Mayor Vincent Gray supports the bill but wants several changes to make it tougher. Those changes include keeping it a criminal offense to smoke marijuana on sidewalks, in parks or in other public spaces where children are present.

The deputy attorney general also said that Gray would like to see a provision mandating that people cited for marijuana be forced to identify themselves and that police be allowed to prosecute possession or distribution of marijuana at schools.

During the hearing Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) also expressed support for allowing residents to grow several plants of marijuana at home, but the attorney general’s office didn’t endorse that idea.


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