Vincent Gray, the current mayor of DC is taking an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach and loosening the crackdown on minor weed charges. The Democrat incumbent signed a marijuana decriminalization bill yesterday, March 31 that still makes it affordable for offenders to visit their local sack man.
Reports Huffington Post:
“He did sign it this morning,” said spokeswoman Doxie McCoy. Gray is facing a tight race in the Democratic primary on Tuesday after being tarnished by links to a campaign finance scandal.
Proponents had backed the marijuana measure as an issue of fairness. A study by the American Civil Liberties Union had shown that blacks in Washington were eight times more likely to be arrested for pot than people of other races.
Decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana in the District of Columbia is part of a nationwide trend to lessening penalties for marijuana. Colorado and Washington state legalized recreational marijuana use in voter initiatives in 2012.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the District’s new measure will face review by the U.S. Congress, which is granted the power to oversee local laws by the U.S. Constitution.
Possession of up to an ounce, or 28 grams, will carry a $25 fine, way down from the previous $1,000 and possible six month jail offense.
Logic will tell every levelheaded person that this is an acceptable adjustment to the law to make, but it will be interesting to see how much flak President Obama could get from this, seeing that is in his own backyard.