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Old August 20, 2012, 12:12 AM   #44
KyJim
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Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 8,232
Quote:
Over the years politicians gradually criminalized many of these things. The reversal of those actions ("laws) is "decriminalization," not "legalization."
Not exactly. When you decriminalize something, say marijuana, it usually means to make it subject to a fine but not jail. Thus, it is not legal but it is also not a criminal offense.

decriminalize
Quote:
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>
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decriminalize
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