Accessibility links

Breaking News

Washington DC City Council Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

The Washington DC city council has decriminalized marijuana possession, making a violation no worse than a parking ticket.

The measure now goes to Mayor Vincent Gray, who says he will sign it. The U.S. Congress, which oversees many affairs in Washington, is not expected to intervene.

Anyone caught with 28 grams of marijuana or less will be fined $25 -- less than most city parking tickets.

Supporters of the bill note that more than 90 percent of suspects arrested for marijuana possession in Washington are African-American. They point out that the drug is widely available on college campuses in the city, which are attended by students of many races.

Opponents say the law is inconsistent because while possession is a no longer criminal, selling and smoking is still illegal.

A number of cities and states have decriminalized pot, but it is still illegal under federal law.