Pot decriminalization critics start awareness campaign in D.C.

WASHINGTON — The battle over the District’s law to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana has a new front, with the proposal of a local campaign that may ebb criticism from some House Republicans.

Council member Tommy Wells, Ward 6, has put forward a bill that would establish a public information campaign about marijuana.

It calls for education forums in each ward to address the impact of marijuana use and abuse.

Wells also led the effort to decriminalize possession of marijuana in the District.

The introduction of the drug awareness campaign follows an effort among some House Republicans to block D.C.’s law decriminalizing pot.

Rep. Andy Harris, who represents Maryland’s Eastern Shore, led the charge. The Appropriations Committee accepted his amendment to stop D.C.’s law.

“As a physician, I have read study after study on the devastating effects of marijuana use, especially on developing brains of teenagers,” he said in a statement at the time.

“Congress has the authority to stop irresponsible actions by local officials, and I am glad we did for the health and safety of children throughout the District,” he said.”

Harris released another statement after learning about Wells’ proposal. He called it a “good start” but said efforts to cut teenage drug use need to be stronger.

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