The City You'd Least Expect Has Just Decriminalized Marijuana

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    Mar 13, 2014 3:42 PM GMT
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    Lo and behold: Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States and the center of federal government, has decriminalized the possession and consumption of small amounts of marijuana.

    By a near-unanimous vote, the D.C. city council has decided to eliminate laws that made possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a criminal offense punishable by a fine of $1,000 or a six-month prison sentence. When the new regulations go into effect this summer, possession will be punishable only by a fine of $25; public consumption will remain a misdemeanor, but with a maximum fine of $500 or 60 days in jail. D.C. joins the 17 states that have decriminalization laws on the books, and has become one of the most lenient cities in the country when it comes to marijuana offenses.

    "This means that, outside of Washington and Colorado, marijuana penalties are now less punitive in our nation’s capital than anywhere else in the country!" Marijuana Policy Project federal projects director Dan Rifle wrote in an open-letter.

    Council member Tommy Wells, chief sponsor of the legislation, says, "This is a major step since we are the nation's capital, and I am proud of that."

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    And it's particularly important because the capital was, until now, one of the worst theaters in the pointless war on drugs. D.C. police made 846 marijuana possession arrests per 100,000 residents in 2010; that number was 256 per 100,000 nationally. And even more disturbingly, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that blacks nationally were 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites despite similar rates of use. In D.C., that rate increased to 8.05 times more likely.

    This change will affect all Millennials by setting a precedent that marijuana reform can occur on the Eastern seaboard, a region that has previously struggled to build momentum around changing drug laws. It could even keep you out of jail. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20-30% of 18 to 29-year-olds reported having used marijuana in the past year in 2011, and 57% said they'd used it at least once in their life.

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    Drug war hardliners had better brace themselves, because change — at least for marijuana — is coming.

    -Tom McKay
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    Mar 13, 2014 4:13 PM GMT
    pellaz saidi dont smoke but nice to see less money spent to enforce archaic laws.


    That's how I feel. Government should leave people alone and let them live their lives as they choose.
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    Mar 13, 2014 4:19 PM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    pellaz saidi dont smoke but nice to see less money spent to enforce archaic laws.


    That's how I feel. Government should leave people alone and let them live their lives as they choose.


    Colorado netted $2,000,000 in tax revenue on the first month's sales of marijuana. That's for the first month that sales were legal and where many distributers had not yet opened for business.

    That sort of revenue will be a big incentive for cash-strapped states to legalize it.
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    Mar 13, 2014 4:25 PM GMT
    Republican motto: Small government!

    War on drugs started by a Republican.
    War on drugs now being dismantled under Democrat.
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    Mar 13, 2014 4:42 PM GMT
    Scruffypup saidRepublican motto: Small government!

    War on drugs started by a Republican.
    War on drugs now being dismantled under Democrat.


    It goes way deeper than that.

    It's about oppression.
    It's about lining the coffers of the military industrial complex.
    It's about preying upon fears / being a punitive.

    Dems, and this has been studied, are guided by a different moral compass than so called conservative. It's a more logical and compassionate one.
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    Mar 13, 2014 5:11 PM GMT
    Scruffypup saidRepublican motto: Small government!

    War on drugs started by a Republican.
    War on drugs now being dismantled under Democrat.


    Not too many ways that I disagreed with Reagan, but this was one.
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    Mar 13, 2014 5:17 PM GMT
    Not totally surprised to be honest. Washington D.C. has always been pretty progressive and open on social issues the past few decades.

    But overall, it's a good and much needed decision.
  • ThatSwimmerGu...

    Posts: 3755

    Mar 13, 2014 5:18 PM GMT
    As long as it can't be smoked in public areas I'm fine with it.
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    Mar 13, 2014 5:47 PM GMT
    chuckystud said
    Scruffypup said

    Dems, and this has been studied, are guided by a different moral compass than so called conservative. It's a more logical and compassionate one.


    Actually, the leading psychologist who studies the moral psychology of liberals and conservatives finds that conservatives follow a broader range of moral "vectors" than liberals do. Summary here http://www.volokh.com/2014/01/17/jonathan-haidt-psychology-politics/

    Also, following on this research, others found that liberals are more inclined to stereotype conservative beliefs, showing that liberals lack empathy and understanding of the wider range of moral issues that conservatives place value on. http://www.psmag.com/blogs/news-blog/political-stereotypes-liberals-conservatives-50420/

    Food for thought.
  • WhoDey

    Posts: 561

    Mar 13, 2014 7:19 PM GMT
    Interesting. Whites are more in support than black, when the stereotype is that blacks smoke more than whites.
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    Mar 13, 2014 7:52 PM GMT
    So which town is it? I can't see it. #IHP

    Pulling for Waco. Just because. icon_razz.gif

    (Never mind! I scrolled down. I am so disappoint.) icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 14, 2014 3:46 AM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    cartrich saidActually, the leading psychologist who studies the moral psychology of liberals and conservatives finds that conservatives follow a broader range of moral "vectors" than liberals do. Summary here http://www.volokh.com/2014/01/17/jonathan-haidt-psychology-politics/

    Also, following on this research, others found that liberals are more inclined to stereotype conservative beliefs, showing that liberals lack empathy and understanding of the wider range of moral issues that conservatives place value on. http://www.psmag.com/blogs/news-blog/political-stereotypes-liberals-conservatives-50420/

    Food for thought.

    No doubt both sides can pull bullshit stats out of their ass to show why their lies are better than the other guys' lies. Thanks for doing your part. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Well, at least the shit I pulled out was cited and peer-reviewed.
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    Mar 14, 2014 4:11 AM GMT
    A friend of mine who's an attorney with the City of New Orleans told me the city officials are all talking about legalizing pot here.
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    Mar 14, 2014 5:14 AM GMT
    Awesome, the US can become more like North Korea and Uruguay since pot is illegal in most of the rest of the planet.

  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14395

    Mar 15, 2014 7:25 PM GMT
    Hey this would be another source of revenue for the tax happy State of New York.



    I think that it would be hilarious if Jackson, Mississippi decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. What would the FLAKY FUNDAMENTALISTS in the Mississippi GOP doicon_question.gificon_lol.gif
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Mar 15, 2014 7:54 PM GMT
    Ultimately, I think they need to decriminalize drugs in general.