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DC on fast track to decriminalizing pot possession

By BEN NUCKOLS
The Associated Press

Published:   |   Updated: November 2, 2013 at 06:02 PM

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WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia is on the fast track toward decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The D.C. Council is poised to approve a bill that would make possession of less than 1 ounce of pot a civil offense, punishable by a fine as low as $25. Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray says he supports it. He could sign the bill as early as January.

Some activists want the city to go further by legalizing marijuana. They’re considering a ballot initiative if the council doesn’t take that step.

D.C. leaders have long been cautious about pot, in part because Congress has the final say on city laws. Congress held up medical marijuana in D.C. for a decade. But with 17 states having some form of decriminalization, many believe Congress won’t intervene.

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