At midnight Thursday, a marijuana decriminalization law passed by the D.C. Council in April completed a 60-day congressional review period and went into effect.
The new law impacts how police handle one of the most common violations they encounter:
- Police must see someone smoking pot, not just smell marijuana, to charge someone with a misdemeanor, which is similar to possessing open containers of alcohol in public.
- Police are no longer allowed to demand identification from a person found in possession of up to one ounce.
- Police who find people with larger amounts or using marijuana in public places can still be arrested and charged with a crime, but otherwise they receive a $25 fine.