What does “Decriminalization” mean?

The action or process of loosening criminal penalties for certain illegal activities--in this case, the use of cannabis. This is not the same as legalization. Under decriminalization, cannabis is still illegal, but those caught with it only face fines instead of serious criminal charges. A few states have opted for decriminalization over legalization, and many see it as a stepping stone toward full legalization.

Example usage:

“States that have decriminalized weed have less non violent criminals doing hard time.”

Related Cannabis Vocabulary Terms: