Washington D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D) announced a proposal on Wednesday that would replace criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana.
Wells, chair of the council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, announced this proposal at a press conference Wednesday morning. The measure would remove criminal violations for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana for individuals 18 years of age and older and replace them with a civil fine of $100, similar to a traffic ticket. Individuals under the age of 18 would face a civil fine of $100 and be mandated to attend a drug and alcohol awareness program.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, seventeen states have decriminalized marijuana possession. Two of those states, Colorado and Washington, removed all penalties for adult marijuana possession.
Former Mexican President Vincente Fox has been advocating for the legalization of marijuana in the United States, arguing “The cost of the [drug] war is becoming unbearable – too high for Mexico, for Latin America and for the rest of the world.”