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Marijuana decriminalization takes effect in D.C.

Washington state is posting data about marijuana sales and fines online to make it easy for banks or credit unions to discover red flags that might indicate illegal activity. CBS

WASHINGTON - At least for the time being, it's no longer a criminal offense to carry a joint in your pocket in most of the nation's capital.

The District of Columbia's law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana takes effect Thursday. But it's not clear how long the law will last. The House has approved a spending bill with an amendment that would bar the District from implementing the law.

The law replaces criminal penalties for possession of one ounce of pot with a $25 civil fine. Under the previous law, the same offense was considered a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to six-months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, reports CBS affiliate WUSA.

D.C. police are seeking to remind residents that smoking in public, possession of more than one ounce or selling marijuana remain criminal offenses. It's also still illegal to have pot on federal property, and the new law doesn't apply to U.S. Park Police.

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