WASHINGTON — A majority of Washington D.C. Council members have signed a bill to decriminalize marijuana in order to reduce the number of drug-related criminal convictions in the District, but its authors admit that the bill is intended “mostly to mess with President Obama.”
The bill, which the council will vote on in the fall, would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana subject to a $100 fine.
“This bill is about ending unnecessary criminal convictions for small amounts of possession, which has resulted in the disproportionate incarceration of black men,” said Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). “But mainly, this bill is intended to piss off Obama.”
Although as a senator Obama favored decriminalization, as president he has not been supportive of efforts to decriminalize the drug. In addition, Obama has surpassed Bush’s record for medical marijuana busts and spent nearly $300 million fighting medical marijuana in the District and the 18 states where it is legal.
“This bill is not about condoning drug use,” added Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who co-wrote the bill with Barry. “It is about healing communities broken apart by excessive incarcerations. It is about racial justice. But mostly, as councilman Barry noted, the president is going to shit a brick when he finds out about this. On a personal note, I cannot wait to see how Congress reacts when they hear about this, either.”
“They may run Washington, but they’ll never have DC!” shouted Barry, to thunderous applause.
Council member David Grosso (I-At Large), who plans to introduce a bill to legalize marijuana in the fall, also voiced support for the decriminalization bill.
“Although I believe that decriminalization and legalization are important ways to rile up the president,” said Grosso, “I really just want to give a big ‘fuck you’ to our dear Mayor Gray. Hope to hell he’s enjoying his campaign finance scandal.”
When asked for comment, Mayor Vincent Gray declined to give his opinion on the legislation for fear of how President Obama, Congress or Wal-Mart would react.
“If, God willing, the Council votes to legalize, tax and regulate pot in the fall, I invite council members Wells and Barry to join me for a gentlemen’s blunt outside the White House,” said Grosso. “And if Obama wants to, he is also free to join us with one of those funny-looking cigarettes he used to smoke in college.”
Wells, who is running for DC mayor, politely declined Grosso’s offer. Though Barry did not verbally accept the offer, he gave Grosso a wink paired with a hearty slap on the back.