Washington D.C.’s City Council Committee on the Judiciary and Pubic Safety has given unanimous approval to a proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. The measure now moves to a full council vote, where a majority of the members have signed on as sponsors of the bill. The district’s mayor, who would have final consideration over the bill if the council approves it, is in favor of the proposal.
Under the proposed law, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would be reduced to a small fine of either $100 or $25, depending on whether or not someone was smoking it in public, or simply possessing it. Under current D.C. law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can net someone a prison sentence of up to 6 months.
According to recent polling, 75% of those in D.C. are in favor of decriminalizing cannabis, some of the highest support shown in any polling done through the United States. The same poll found that 64% are in favor of legalization.
If approved into law, the proposal would take effect a few months afterward.