The D.C. Council will have a chance Tuesday to vote on Wells’ bill that would decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.
African-Americans with marijuana arrest records are less likely to find employment and may miss out on educational opportunities, Wells said, but the bill would be an “opportunity to kind of correct that injustice.”
The Metropolitan Police Department responded to some of the ACLU’s statistics on disproportionate arrests rates with a lengthy statement on its website, and called for further discussion of the issue.
The standards for probable cause for a search were a major point of contention when the council last convened on the matter.
Sulton said the NAACP hopes the bill “won’t be watered down, and that those measures that are aimed at eliminating the racial disparity won’t be eliminated from the bill and changed to a bill that’s focused on just sort of recreational use like what we see in Colorado and Washington.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.