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DC Council could decriminalize pot in January

Ben Nuckols, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The D.C. Council could send a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana to Mayor Vincent Gray as early as January.

That's according to Councilmember Tommy Wells, who introduced the bill and chaired a committee hearing on the measure on Thursday. Nine of Wells' 13 colleagues have signaled their support for the bill, and Gray also supports it.

The bill would make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil offense subject to a fine. Wells said Thursday that he plans to lower the proposed fine from $100 to $25 after listening to the concerns of low-income residents.

Wells hopes to send the bill to the full council in time for a preliminary vote in December and a final vote in January.