As the world gears up for 4/20, the results of a survey were released this morning which show that several D.C. residents—75 percent, to be exact—support the decriminalization of marijuana. This would reduce the penalties for possession to a $100 fine from a $1,000 fine and six months in prison.
The Marijuana Policy Project and Drug Policy Alliance both organized the poll, which also learned that 64 percent of D.C. residents are in favor of permitting the growth of three marijuana plants and would even like to see marijuana legally available to everyone over the age of 21.
The poll's most important revelation—and the one that most will agree with—is that 67 percent of respondents feel police should devote more time to other crimes. Furthermore, 54 percent agree drug use should be handled as a public health issue rather than a criminal matter.
Attorney and City Council candidate Paul Zukerberg has built his campaign around the concept of decriminalization and will hold a rally on the National Mall this Saturday, obviously because Saturday is Apr. 20 and he knows the best time to promote himself.
The bottom line is that marijuana-related arrests in D.C. are rising at a time where other major cities are moving towards decriminalization. Not only should D.C. get with the times for the sake of keeping up to speed, they should do so in order to avoid wasting police resources. You know, go do "real police work," as the cops on The Wire would say.