Legislative Summary: Simple Possession of Small Quantities Act (B20-409)

This legislative summary was written by Grant Smith, Policy Manager, Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance:


On July 10, 2013, Councilmember Tommy Wells (D- Ward 6) introduced the “Simple Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana Decriminalization Act of 2013” (Bill Number 20-409). This bill was co- introduced or co-sponsored by nine out of thirteen Councilmembers. The legislation would reform D.C. law to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less or paraphernalia intended to use or possess marijuana weighing one ounce or less. This legislative summary outlines how the legislation as it was introduced would reform D.C.’s marijuana law.

Overview

This legislation was co-introduced by Councilmembers Barry (D-Ward 8); McDuffie (D-Ward 5); Evans (D- Ward 2); Bonds (D-At Large); Grosso (I-At Large); Graham (D-Ward 1); and Cheh (D-Ward 3).

This legislation is co-sponsored by Councilmembers Mendelson (D-Chairman) and Catania (I-At Large).

This legislation has not received support from Councilmembers Alexander (D-Ward 7); Orange (D- At Large); or Bowser (D-Ward 4).

This legislation was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, which is chaired by Councilmember Tommy Wells.

Timeline

After holding public hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety scheduled for October 23, 2013 and October 24, 2013, the Committee would next conduct a markup of the legislation and vote on whether to send the bill to the Committee of the Whole comprised of all thirteen Councilmembers for further consideration.

Summary

This legislation consists of eight sections that make a number of revisions to D.C. laws. The first section contains the title of the bill.

where can i buy ivermectin Section 2

  • Under this legislation, any person in the District of Columbia found in possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would no longer be subjected to arrest or charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense under D.C. law and would no longer be subject to up to 180 days in prison or up to a $1,000 fine.
  • Possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would become a civil offense punishable by a $100 civil fine and forfeiture of the marijuana that triggered the fine. The fine would likely be issued in a manner similar to how a traffic citation for a civil infraction is issued by the Metropolitan Police Department. A police officer would seize any marijuana and issue the citation.
  • A person under the age of 18 in possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would be subject to a $100 civil fine and forfeiture of the marijuana that triggered the fine but would also be required to attend a drug awareness program within one year of notice to the person under 18 and their parent or legal guardian of its availability.
  • The parents or legal guardian of the person under the age of 18 would be notified of the issuance of the marijuana citation and the availability of a drug awareness program.
  • A qualified drug awareness program would be made available to a person under the age of 18 without cost and a qualified program would be required to provide at least four hours of group discussion or instruction based on science and evidence-based principles and practices specific to the use and misuse of marijuana, alcohol and other drugs.
  • A person under the age of 18 who fails to complete the four hours of a drug awareness program within one year of its availability would be subject to eight hours of court-ordered community service and an additional $200 fine.
  • Any person in the District of Columbia found in possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would not be subject to any additional penalty, sanction or disqualification for engaging in such conduct other than the penalties described above.
  • Under this legislation, the possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would not warrant or authorize the seizure of a person’s property under D.C. civil asset forfeiture laws. A person whose only conduct was possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would not face civil asset forfeiture of property such as vehicles, real estate or other property for that conduct but would still face seizure of any marijuana.
  • D.C. laws are revised to specify that transfering (or “sharing”) marijuana weighing one ounce or less without renumeration (expectation or receipt of money, services, favors or other forms of tangible or intangible compensation) would no longer be treated as marijuana distribution or manufacturing. Presently, the act of sharing marijuana under D.C. law is treated the same as distributing or selling marijuana.

https://buckymoonshine.com/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=https://buckymoonshine.com/events/blue-lisa-2/ Section 3

  • Under this legislation, any person found in the District of Columbia possessing paraphernalia for the purpose of consuming or storing marijuana weighing one ounce or less would no longer be subjected to arrest or charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense under D.C. law punishable by up to 30 days in prison and a fine.
  • Possession of paraphernalia for the purpose of consuming, carrying or storing marijuana weighing one ounce or less would no longer be a criminal or civil offense and would become lawful conduct under D.C. law.
  • Transferring (or “sharing”) paraphernalia intended to be used to consume, carry or store marijuana weighing less than one ounce without renumeration (expectation or receipt of money, services, favors or other forms of tangible or intangible compensation) would no longer be a criminal or civil offense and would become lawful conduct under D.C. law.

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  • Under this legislation, a person whose only unlawful conduct was possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would not furnish cause or authorize a judge to issue a search warrant and subsequent seizure of any property other than seizure of any amount of marijuana.

https://drscottconsulting.com/google-local-search-google-places/ Section 5

  • This legislation amends D.C. Code pertaining to public assistance to clarify that a person who commits the civil violation of possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would generally not be rendered ineligible for public assistance.

Section 6

  • This legislation amends D.C. Code to clarify that a person who commits the civil violation of possession of marijuana weighing one ounce or less would not have their D.C. issued drivers’ license suspended or revoked.

Section 7

  • This section pertains to the projected cost of implementing this legislation.

Section 8

  • This legislation would take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of a veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto) and a 60 day period of review by the United States Congress.

For additional information, please contact Grant Smith, Policy Manager, Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance gsmith@drugpolicy.org or 202-683-2984

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