Thursday, 17 July 2014

Marijuana Possession Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2014

Marijuana Possession Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2014
Effective July 17, 2014

Decriminalization is not legalization. The use and possession of marijuana remains illegal, but possession of 1 ounce or less will now be treated as a civil offense, not a crime. Individuals caught with 1 ounce or less of marijuana will be fined $25 and will have all visible marijuana and paraphernalia confiscated.

The MPD has created an explanation webpage ( that includes the Act, the MPD’s Special Order for officers, and a handy FAQ palm card.

No longer a criminal violation:
·         Possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana.
·         Transfer of 1 ounce or less of marijuana to another person, so long as there is no payment made or any other type of exchange of goods or services.
·         Possession of marijuana-related drug paraphernalia (such as bongs, cigarette rolling papers, and cigar wrappers) associated with the use of 1 ounce or less of marijuana.

What happens when an individual is found with 1 ounce or less?
·         The individual will receive a $25 ticket; and
·         Any visible marijuana or paraphernalia will be seized.

What is still a criminal violation?
·         Possession of more than 1 ounce;
·         Selling any amount of marijuana to another person;
·         Smoking or consuming marijuana in public;
·         Driving or operating a vehicle or a boat while impaired;
·         Refusing to provide an officer with one’s name and address (however, there is no requirement to carry or display proof of identity).

What’s the deal with the smell of pot?
The bill states that the following factors, individually or in combination with each other, will not provide a law enforcement officer with reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime:
·         The odor of marijuana or burnt marijuana;
·         The possession of or the suspicion of possession of marijuana without evidence of quantity in excess of one ounce;
·         The possession of multiple containers of marijuana without evidence of quantity in excess of once ounce; and
·         The possession of marijuana without evidence of quantity in excess of one ounce in proximity to any amount of cash or currency.

The odor provision was included because if the possession or private use of marijuana is no longer a crime, then the smell of marijuana alone would not be evidence of a crime. However, these provisions do not apply when an officer is investigating whether a person is operating or in physical control of a vehicle or a boat while intoxicated, under the influence of, or impaired by alcohol or drugs.

What about the federal law enforcement agencies?
·         Federal law continues to prohibit the possession or use of any amount of marijuana.
·         Federal law enforcement officers may arrest anyone in D.C. for possession or use of any amount of marijuana as a violation of federal law.
·         Prosecutions for federal law violations would be done by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

Where do I get more information?
·         LIMS: and click on Bill History for the committee report, amendments, and the enrolled bill.
·         The MPD marijuana page mentioned above: includes a similar FAQ, as well as links to the Special Order the Department has issued to its officers and the palm card MPD is distributing to the public.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

DC's Double Rainbow

last night, DC had it's very own double rainbow night.  i had the double rainbow moment of ah and wonder. i started crying, had to pull into a bank parking lot (thanks Liz for letting me use your car!) and had a gush of hope.  we live in a beautiful world!

  i'm guessing good things are around the corner :)

WOW!! via @bloomingdame

via my iphone

via @BloomingdaleCC

me last night:

Thursday, 15 May 2014

EMS: Addressing the Intersection of Trauma, Mental Health Challenges, and Substance Use

Addressing the Intersection of Trauma, Mental Health Challenges, and Substance Use
DATE & TIME: May 29, 2014 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST
DURATION: 1 hour and 30 minutes
DESCRIPTION: Mental health and substance-use conditions often co-occur.Approximately 8.9 million adults have co-occurring disorders; that is, they have both a mental and substance-use disorder. Only 7.4 percent of individuals receive treatment for both conditions with 55.8 percent receiving no treatment at all. Histories of trauma experiences are also very prevalent for individuals who may have mental health challenges or substance-use conditions. Given the high prevalence for all three issues, integrated trauma-informed approaches are needed. This webinar will provide an overview of current research and evidence-based programming.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Participants will:
Understand the historical context for addressing the intersection of mental health, substance use, and trauma.
Review current research on the prevalence of trauma and adverse experiences and their impacts in the lives of women and girls across the lifespan.
Learn more about two evidence-based programs (Seeking Safety and the Trauma Resolution Center).
Understand core components of a trauma-informed approach when addressing the intersection of mental health, substance use, and trauma.
Policymakers; Administrators; Service Providers from health, education, workforce, justice, military, housing, emergency management, domestic violence, and other systems; Federal and State representatives; Employers; Stakeholders with an interest in Women and Trauma; and the general public.Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma
Sara Afayee, MSW, Public Health Advisor, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Susan E. Salasin, International Adviser for Development of Trauma Informed Care Public Health Programs
Teresa Descilo, MCT, MSW, Founder and Director of the Trauma Resolution Center
Lisa Najavits, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
After registering, you will receive the webinar link in your confirmation email.
Please prepare your system ahead of time: We highly recommend that you test your connection to Adobe Connect™ in advance of the webinar to ensure access. To test your connection click on the following: You may be prompted to install ActiveX control, Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Connect add-ins. If you encounter any difficulty testing your connection or accessing the webinar, please contact Adobe Technical Support by calling 1-800-422-3623.
If you have questions related to registering for this webinar, please contact Melanie Sutherland (, SAMHSA’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care.