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STEVE ELLIOTT

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In 2011, 4,300 people were arrested for possession of marijuana in the District of Columbia, an increase of 2,150 for the same crime 10 years before. Metro D.C. Police Department numbers show that cannabis-related arrests in general have also increased, from 3,487 in 2001 to 5,759 in 2011.

“MPD is snatching 6,000 people off the street, hauling them off to jail, and running them through the criminal justice system every year,” said D.C. Council candidate Paul Zukerberg, reports Julian Kimble at Complex. “These nonviolent citizens — mostly young black men — are being saddled with permanent criminal records, and sentenced to a lifetime of underemployment.”

D.C. Council candidate Paul Zukerberg: "Quote" [Washington City Paper]
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D.C. Council candidate Paul Zukerberg:
“These nonviolent citizens — mostly young black men — are being saddled with permanent criminal records, and sentenced to a lifetime of underemployment”
[Washington City Paper]

Zukerberg, a defense attorney who has represented marijuana defendants, promises to push for the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana if he’s elected next month.

D.C. has an inordinately high number of cannabis arrests per capita, according to the Washington City Paper, occasionally ranking among the highest in the U.S.

Most marijuana arrests in D.C. are, surprise surprise, of young, black men — despite the fact that a Washingtonian cover story last year revealed that many affluent D.C. residents also enjoy cannabis.

Marijuana possession is a misdemeanor in D.C., punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

 

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