Marijuana legalization in D.C.: Discussion should be had, Gray says

A discussion on the legalization on small amounts of marijuana in the District of Columbia should be discussed, Mayor Vincent Gray said Wednesday, despite his neutrality on the subject.

Appearing on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt on NewsChannel 8, Gray said that he is not for or against the legalization of marijuana, but he says that talk on the topic should take place.

"I don't have a position on whether to legalize it or not, but we should have that discussion," Gray said.

Marijuana for medicinal purposes was sold for the first time in Washington on Monday night, 15 years after it was approved by the D.C. Council. The sale was made at Capital City Care, a dispensary which operates on North Capitol Street.

A 51-year-old AIDS patient was the city's first recipient of medical pot.

Gray says that the discussion about legalizing some amount of marijuana should happen because so many young people end up with criminal records early on in life. He also recognizes that the use of pot among patients with chronic conditions is helping them deal with pain and the symptoms of their illnesses.

Anyone who wishes to acquire marijuana for medical use in the District must have approval from the city's Department of Health and a doctor's recommendation for the program.

The legalization of small amounts of pot is not a new notion for the District. On July 10, D.C. Councilmember and mayoral candidate Tommy Wells proposed legislation that would decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Under Wells' plan, the penalty for that would be considered a civil offense and violators would be subject to a $100 fine.