Decriminalize it?


Two D.C. Council members are proposing to eliminate criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

It’s been nearly three years since city leaders voted to legalize medical marijuana. Now, with dispensaries not even open yet, some legislators are exploring whether the D.C. Council should decriminalize or even legalize marijuana, period. Tim Craig reports in the Post that Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) have been emboldened, in part, by a recent poll showing widespread support for more liberal marijuana policies and accompanying threats of a ballot initiative push by activists. Anita Bonds (D-At Large) and David Grosso (I-At Large) also are on the record in support, but Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) continues to be wary of congressional intervention: “I don’t think it’s the right time,” he said. The issue also could become a major differentiator in the coming mayor’s race, with Wells preparing to announce and candidate Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) saying she is “not prepared to say we need to go another step” beyond medical marijuana.

In other news:

Chuck Brown died a year ago today, and his family and his band are laboring to preserve his legacy (Post)

And go-go marches on without him (Post)

Federal judge resoundingly rejects attempt to stop DCPS school closings (PostWAMU-FMWUSA-TVopinion)

D.C.’s child-care subsidy program is often more trouble than it’s worth (Post)

Power-line burial plan gets good reviews from consumer watchdogs (PostWRC-TVWAMU-FMWUSA-TVWTOP)

The power might not go out, but won’t someone think of the drivers? (Examiner)

Meet Adam Kokesh, the guy who wants gun-toting protesters to confront city gun laws “with Satyagraha” (Post)

New stats suggest way more D.C. workers are living in the city (Housing Complex)

D.C. United land swap could leave LGBT center once again without a home (Blade)

Metropolitan AME members go ballistic over M Street cycletrack plans (WashCycle)

DCPS endeavors to cut special-ed population from 8,200 to 6,800 (Examiner)

Tommy Wells has a “bluegrass brunch” fundraiser set for the day after his mayoral campaign launch (Facebook)

Time to extend bar hours year-round, not just on holidays (Blade)

Rand Paul questions Superior Court nominees on gun laws (Legal Times)

Doug Jemal has big plans for Ivy City: “This could be the Meatpacking District. … This could be the coolest part of town.” (Housing Complex)

Vince Gray personally takes aim at synthetic marijuana: “Let’s tell Scooby Doo to go to another city. Let’s tell him to take a hike.” (WTTG-TV)

David Catania wants regulators to take a closer look at health insurers’ rate hikes (WBJ)

D.C. GOP executive director: “We are going to try to pull things together and build a structure for the party” (Informer)

The Miller boys and their crowdsourced real estate deals get noticed by the Gray Lady (NYT)

But no, H Street NE is nowhere near Dupont Circle (City Desk)

D.C. as cosmopolitan laboratory for upstart food chains (Young & Hungry)

Tuesday night road rage incident on New York Avenue (Post)

Campaign against Fillmore Arts cuts gets YouTubed (DCist)

ABC Board tells Fur owners to beef up security or else (WJLA-TV)

Taxi Commission isn’t backing off SideCar policy (WAMU-FM)

Watch DCRA reverse a dumb policy in real time (Storify)

Metro blocks its chief Twitter critic (DCist)

Can you smoke your e-ciggies on the train? (Post column)

Why not “Big Dig” Wisconsin and M? (PoPville)

Hearing today on transgender birth certificate bill (Blade)

Whaddaya know? There’s bees on the roof of the new NPR building (City Paper)

Council hearing today on gun insurance mandate (AP)

Vincent Gray will hold LGBT town hall on May 31 (Blade)

After holding LGBT youth summit last week (Blade)

The long-forgotten Georgetown University sex riots of 1963 (Slate)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · May 15, 2013