Marijuana decriminalization is here


Carrying one ounce of marijuana or less now carries less of a risk in the District: Just a $25 fine, not an arrest. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Starting Thursday, D.C. cops can’t arrest you for having a small amount of marijuana. But before you start blazing on the street, consider these caveats to marijuana decriminalization: Using weed is public is still a criminal offense, so handcuffs will be involved if you smoke in front of a cop. Same goes for possessing more than one ounce or driving under the influence of drugs. Although D.C. police will abide by the new law, federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Park Police, Secret Service and Capitol Police, can still arrest you for minor possession offenses under federal law. And, as D.C. police is pointing out, just because possessing marijuana is no longer a crime in the District, it doesn’t mean you should. More from WaTimesWAMU-FMWJLA-TVDCist and WTOP.

In other news:

Phinis Jones, key Muriel Bowser backer, says there’s no missing Park Southern money (PostLoose LipsWRC-TV)

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) successfully adds pro-gun rider to D.C. budget bill (PostCity DeskWAMU-FMDCistAP)

Insurance litigator and voting-right advocate Lorie Masters joins attorney general race (PostLoose Lips)

Get a marijuana possession fine? City Paper will pay it (City Desk)

The D.C. worker’s comp system “suffers from a lack of enforceable standards, failure to allocate adequate resources, and shoddy oversight” (City Paper)

Neighbors and fellow merchants want answers in killing of shopkeeper James Oh (PostWJLA-TV)

Anita Bonds keeps pressing national Democrats to help out Muriel Bowser (DofD)

David Catania supporter continues to question Stein Club’s Bowser endorsement (Blade)

Phil Pannell: “The only thing you’ll ever hear me running for anymore will be cover” (Blade)

Meet the NEMBYs: No embassies in their back yards, please (Housing Complex)

Vincent Gray has a “creative economy” plan (Housing ComplexDCist)

ACLU says Gray administration is dawdling on FOIA requests (WaTimes)

Eastern Market is dangerous ground for petition circulators (WRC-TV)

Bloomingdale residents rally to help neighbor living in car (WRC-TV)

Buzzfeed on Brutalism (Buzzfeed)

Yes, you can legally live in a shipping container (WBJ)

Navy Yard building where 12 were killed will reopen in February, admiral says (AP)

Little-noticed budget provision will make D.C. government vending machines healthier (DCist)

DDOT completes temporary Maryland Avenue NE safety improvements (WAMU-FM)

MWCOG declines to fund Georgetown gondola feasibility study (UrbanTurf)

Deanwood residents turn to Channel 7 to get fallen tree removed from alley (WJLA-TV)

“Are drivers still parking in D.C. bike lanes? You bet.” (Dr. Gridlock)

Where will Georgetown buy its gas? (Current via Dish)

Outgoing LivingSocial CEO is “certainly predisposed to stay in the D.C. area” (WBJ)

Alleged hipsters burn flag in Columbia Heights on the Fourth (PoPville)

D.C. Public Library plans to digitize 8,000 historical maps (DCist)

Frank Kameny’s papers will appear in book form (Blade)

RIP Rudi Appl, Capitol Hill bartender extraordinaire (Young & HungryThe Hill Is Home)

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 · July 16