Upcoming Legal Decisions for D.C.

Decriminalizing Marijuana in D.C.

Over the past four years, Washingtonians support of legalization of marijuana has increased exponentially with 63 percent of residents now in favor. Currently, a bill is being proposed that will make the possession of marijuana a civil offense rather than a criminal one. If this bill passes the level of possession of marijuana will be equivalent to getting a parking ticket and the level of police involvement and legal costs will reduce “undeniable racial disparities.” Passage of the bill is likely, as 9 out of the 13 council members and Mayor Vincent Gray support the measure.

Gray Awaits 11 Pieces of Environmental Legislation

In efforts to reduce pollution, a measure receiving the most attention is a ban on styrofoam food and drink containers. This would be the first measure taken to reduce the pollution in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers.

Proposed Law Would Ban Federal Funding for Abortions in D.C.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” prohibits states from using federal grants for funding abortions. Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., introduced an amendment to strike language that defines D.C. as a part of the federal government, which he cited under the Home Rule Act passed in 1973. In opposition, House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., expressed controversial views of people supporting District autonomy. Goodlatte said that the budget of the District of Columbia must be approved by Congress, including revenues generated by local sources. Despite Conyers’s efforts, the committee rejected his amendment, siding with Goodlatte, and the “No Taxpayers Funding for Abortion Act” was favorably reported to the House.

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