Responding to the American Civil Liberties Union’s report about marijuana arrests, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier made some excellent points [“The D.C. police aren’t waging ‘war’ on pot users,” Local Opinions, June 23]. Hindering large portions of the population because of minor arrests does weaken the community. We understand that police only enforce laws. That’s why we don’t call on the police to stop enforcing the law; we call on the D.C. Council to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Chief Lanier identified one error in our report: Fifty-four percent of arrests in 2010 for marijuana possession involved no other criminal charge; we reported 87 percent, and we regret the error. But 54 percent still amounts to more than 2,600 arrests by our count. How does it make sense to saddle thousands of D.C. residents each year with the lifelong consequences of arrest and conviction for possessing small amounts of marijuana?