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Marijuana Decriminalization in U.S. Capital Passes Council

The Washington city council voted to decriminalize marijuana consumption in private homes, adding the nation’s capital to a growing list of states that have loosened sanctions for using the drug.

The council today approved reducing the punishment for possession of as much as an ounce of marijuana to a fine, instead of potential jail time. The bill goes to Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, who has said he will sign it, and the U.S. Congress, which can reject it.

At least 17 states have legalized or decriminalized recreational use or possession, putting them at odds with federal law. Washington state and Colorado have legalized the sale of the drug for recreational use, and advocates are pushing similar measures in other states.

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