decriminalize

verb
de·crim·i·nal·ize | \(ˌ)dē-ˈkri-mə-nə-ˌlīz, -ˈkrim-nəl-\

Definition of decriminalize 

transitive verb

: to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of especially : to repeal a strict ban on while keeping under some form of regulation decriminalize the possession of marijuana

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Other Words from decriminalize

decriminalization \(ˌ)dē-ˌkri-mə-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌkrim-nəl- \ noun

Examples of decriminalize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The dominance of the Catholic Church over state institutions was beginning to fall away, homosexuality was decriminalized, divorce became legal, and contraception was made widely available for the first time. Jamie Hawkesworth, Vogue, "Saoirse Ronan on Growing Up on Camera, the Changing Politics of Ireland, and Becoming a Queen," 11 July 2018 Lopez Obrador has also opened the door to legalization of drugs - until now, Mexico has decriminalized personal possession of small amounts of marijuana — and does not appear interested in ratcheting up confrontations with the cartels. Joshua Partlow And David Agren, chicagotribune.com, "Mexico's presidential front-runner doesn't want to escalate the drug war," 30 June 2018 López Obrador has also opened the door to legalization of drugs — until now, Mexico has decriminalized personal possession of small amounts of marijuana — and does not appear interested in ratcheting up confrontations with the cartels. Joshua Partlow, BostonGlobe.com, "Mexico set to elect leftist president for first time in decades," 30 June 2018 Bethlehem City Council on Tuesday voted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, making the penalty like a traffic fine. Nicole Radzievich, Philly.com, "Bethlehem votes to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana," 20 June 2018 In Georgia, the cities of Clarkston and Savannah have also decriminalized marijuana. Arielle Kass, ajc, "Fulton County decriminalizes marijuana in unincorporated area," 6 June 2018 Some states, like New York, have decriminalized marijuana, making it a violation and not a crime to possess small amounts of cannabis. Sonia Moghe And Susannah Cullinane, CNN, "NYC Mayor de Blasio tells police to end arrests for marijuana smoking," 21 May 2018 Eastman advocated for universal background checks to buy guns, raising taxes and decriminalizing marijuana. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: The far left is winning the Democratic civil war," 16 May 2018 Less than an ounce of marijuana is decriminalized in the city, and many are expecting legalization to happen statewide in November. Lornet Turnbull, Washington Post, "When marijuana is legal in Canada, Americans are expected to flock. But the border, and U.S. law, stands in the way.," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decriminalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of decriminalize

1969, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near decriminalize

decretory

decretum

decrial

decriminalize

decrown

decrustation

decry

Statistics for decriminalize

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for decriminalize

The first known use of decriminalize was in 1969

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More Definitions for decriminalize

decriminalize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decriminalize

: to make (something that is illegal) legal by changing the law

decriminalize

transitive verb
de·crim·i·nal·ize | \dē-ˈkri-mən-ᵊl-ˌīz \
decriminalized; decriminalizing

Legal Definition of decriminalize 

: to remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of

Other Words from decriminalize

decriminalization \dē-ˌkri-mən-ᵊl-ə-ˈzā-shən \ noun

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