The Washington D.C. Council voted to decriminalize the posession of marijuana on Tuesday.  But, their vote was only "preliminary approval."  A final vote is expected in a few weeks.

The issue was debated on Tuesday afternoon.  The council added an amendment that would put public smoking of marijuana on par with having an open containder of alcohol in public.

According to NBC4's Mark Seagraves, an amendment to prohibit employers from drug testing for marijuana was tabled for a later vote.

Mayor Vincent Gray says he supports the decriminalization of marijuana.  But, on Tuesday he said that he was worried it would lead to "widespread smoking of marijuana in public."

 If the final bill is passed, offenders would be fined $25 for posession of less than one ounce or $100 for smoking.  But, there would be no criminal charges for those offenders.