I am writing to urge you to support the "Simple Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2013 (Council Bill 20-409)" when it comes up for a vote before the Council. This bill would eliminate criminal penalties for the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. It would impose a $25 civil fine for possession and a $100 civil fine for smoking marijuana in public places as well as forfeiture of the marijuana and any paraphernalia used to consume or carry it. Minors found in possession would also be subject to the same penalties and their parents or guardians would also be notified. I agree with Councilmember Wells that maintaining the status quo continues to predispose African American residents to being unfairly and disproportionately arrested, and imposing a stiffer fine would be too burdensome for poor residents who have also been disproportionately affected by enforcement efforts.