Marijuana decriminalization takes effect in D.C., but much remains to be seen

Marijuana for personal use. (AP File photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) - At least for the time being, it's no longer a criminal offense to carry a joint in your pocket in most of the District of Columbia.

D.C.'s law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana took effect on Thursday.

But it's not clear how long the law will last. The House has approved a spending bill with an amendment that would bar the District from implementing the law.

The law replaces criminal penalties for possession of one ounce of pot with a $25 civil fine.

D.C. police are seeking to remind residents that smoking in public, possession of more than one ounce or selling marijuana remain criminal offenses.

It's also still illegal to have pot on federal property, and the new law doesn't apply to U.S. Park Police.