Yes, it sounds like a headline from the Onion, but it is true. I first found the story on the BBC, so it gained international attention. That story can be found here, (while the link remains active). By the way, they refer to marijuana as cannabis in the UK and always have. Now, if you are found in possession of less than an ounce or 28 grams of weed in Washington D.C., you will be issued a civil citation and fined a whopping 25 bucks. Nonetheless, you can still get jail time for selling marijuana or smoking it in public; which in contrast does seem a bit silly.
Back in 2007 here in Texas, our legislature decided that police officers could have the option of issuing a citation to persons found in possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana. This was in lieu of arresting them and hauling them to jail. I can say that since that time I have not received a single call from someone who was issued a citation for possession of marijuana, but I have handled numerous cases for people who were arrested with small amounts of the stuff. Most of the time this occurred incident to a routine traffic stop for something like a brake light out, or an expired registration sticker. If a police officer in Texas (and just about anywhere else) smells the distinctive odor that he or she knows from their training and experience to be that of marijuana, they are going to start asking questions, and they can also search your car for evidence at that point. So, two important points can be derived from this. 1) Do not smoke weed in your car. 2) Do not drive around with expired tags, or any obvious maintenance issues, like faulty lights. or a noisy exhaust. If you’re going to smoke, do that in your own backyard. You’ll be glad you did.