DC Reduces Public Marijuana Smoking Penalty to $25 Fine
WASHINGTON (AP) — People caught smoking marijuana in public in Washington, D.C., will now get a citation instead of being taken into custody.
News outlets reported that Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham announced the policy change Sept. 21, 2018, going into effect immediately. Metropolitan police already had the option to forgo arrests, but this new rule mandates it, in an effort to better allocate law enforcement resources.
Those who qualify to receive a citation must go to a police station for booking within 15 days and will either pay a $25 fine or go to court.
Some aren’t eligible for citations, though, including minors, people with outstanding warrants, and those who police think won’t answer the citation.
Washington, D.C., allows people to possess 2 ounces, or 57 grams, of marijuana. Almost two-thirds of voters in the U.S. capital in 2014 approved Initiative 71, which allows for possession of small quantities of cannabis.