The District of Columbia on Thursday made the possession of marijuana in small quantities legal despite an ongoing wrangle between Congress and the local officials over whether the newly set of standards are lawful.
With the decision, the capital of US has joined the club of Washington state, Colorado and the new entrant Alaska in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
The Republican-leaning state of Alaska on Tuesday awarded legal status to the smoking, owning and growing of marijuana in small quantities after the decriminalization mass movement grew across the wild northwest frontier of the United States.
The legalization of smaller quantities of marijuana use in American states one after another is reflecting an increasingly shifting legal landscape for the controversial drug. However, it remains illegal under the federal law.
The Initiative 71, which is a ballot measure for making marijuana possession legal and approved by 65 percent of voters in District of Columbia in November, came into effect at 12:01 am EST. Sale of marijuana continue to be prohibited under the law.
On Wednesday, Mayor Muriel Bowser along with other city officials vowed that legalization of the controversial drug would go ahead despite the cautionary warnings from Republican leaders on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, who calls the move illegal.
Under the new law, adults can possess marijuana up to two ounces (or 56 grams) and grow six plants, including three with flowers. The sales of marijuana continue to be banned, but transfers of up to one ounce (or 26 grams) are legal.
The law allows pipes, bongs and other paraphernalia, but smoking pot in public is still illegal.
Marijuana continues to be barred in nearly 20 percent of the district that is federal land.