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This photo taken Oct. 16, 2013 shows marijuana clone plants that are used to grow medical marijuana displayed under a light, at The Joint, a medical marijuana cooperative in Seattle. It took nearly 15 years after voters approved it for medical marijuana to become available in the District of Columbia, but the next major change to the district’s pot laws is on the fast track. The D.C. Council is poised to approve a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot, and Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray supports it. He could sign the bill into law as early as January. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
DC on fast track to decriminalizing pot possession
First Published Nov 02 2013 06:18 pm • Last Updated Nov 02 2013 06:38 pm

WASHINGTON • The District of Columbia is on the fast track toward decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The D.C. Council is poised to approve a bill that would make possession of less than 1 ounce of pot a civil offense, punishable by a fine as low as $25. Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray says he supports it. He could sign the bill as early as January.

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Some activists want the city to go further by legalizing marijuana. They’re considering a ballot initiative if the council doesn’t take that step.

D.C. leaders have long been cautious about pot, in part because Congress has the final say on city laws. Congress held up medical marijuana in D.C. for a decade. But with 17 states having some form of decriminalization, many believe Congress won’t intervene.




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