Cannabis Law Prof Blog

Editor: Franklin G. Snyder
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Friday, September 28, 2018

Public use of marijuana now results in citation rather than custody in Washington D.C.

Cannabis-cuffsIn an effort to make better use of public safety resources, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham have directed that arrests for public use of marijuana must be noncustodial. However, some groups may still be arrested in connection with their public pot use: "Those not eligible include juveniles, people with outstanding warrants or those who cannot be identified positively. Also included among those ineligible are people whom police think will not answer the citation or people subject to another charge that does not provide for a noncustodial arrest."

If a person is issued a citation for public marijuana consumption, they are required to report to a police station within 15 days to either pay a $25 fine or appear in court. According to Mayor Bowser, this new policy aims to aid officials in creating a "safer, stronger D.C.," by allowing them to reallocate their resources and efforts to other areas by reducing the number of residents taken into custody. 

This new policy of issuing citations rather than taking individuals into custody took effect on Friday, September 21, 2018. 

-Andrew Goodwyn

This article originally appearing in the Washington Post.

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