- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Marijuana will be decriminalized in D.C. on Thursday and a metro-area newspaper has agreed to pay the nominal fines delinquents may face afterward.

“Get stopped with a small amount of weed in your pocket today, and you could be facing six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. Wait until tomorrow, and you’ll pay just $25,” writes the Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly newspaper.

The writer of the article, Mike Madden, argues in strong favor of pot decriminalization and makes the case that the District’s drug laws put an inordinate number of black men behind bars.

“So we’ll make an offer to the large, large numbers of people living here who have at some point possessed pot,” Mr. Madden writes. “If you get a citation under the new law, send us a picture of the citation and tell us your story, and if you’re one of the first five people we hear from … we’ll pay your $25 fine.

“Let us know exactly what happened — why did the police stop you, and where? How did they find the pot? Did they confiscate it? What did they say about it, and did they seem to be aware of the new law?” the offer asks.

The paper promises to blur out any identifying details if submitters wish to remain anonymous.