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Washington D.C. Mayor Signs Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana

Congress must now review the measure, which would decriminalize marijuana and eliminate jail time for most offenses in favor of fines.

Posted on March 31, 2014, at 5:34 p.m. ET

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill Monday to decriminalize marijuana, allowing small amounts for personal use. The bill must now be reviewed by Congress before it can become law.

Breaking: @mayorvincegray has signed marijuana decriminalization bill. Next stop, Congress. #DC #marijuana

Hannah Hess@ha_nah_nah

Breaking: @mayorvincegray has signed marijuana decriminalization bill. Next stop, Congress. #DC #marijuana

04:27 PM - 31 Mar 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The signing was considered a formality after the D.C. Council voted for the bill with a large majority on March 25.

Jason Reed / Reuters

If the law passes, D.C. will join the 17 other states that have already decriminalized the drug. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has also warned that "If Members try to interfere... I will stoutly defend D.C.’s right to pass such legislation."

The mayor and city police chief both support maintaining penalties for public smoking, but at $25, the fine for pot will be lower than most city parking tickets.

There's still some concern that racial disparities among those arrested for smoking will persist, some advocates have said.

House Speaker John Boehner has said he's certain Congress will look at the law.

According to a recent poll conducted by American University Radio, 49% of D.C. residents support the legalization of marijuana with 33% opposed and 18% not sure.

Kai-Huei Yau/Tri-City Herald / MCT