Prosecutors In Colorado, Washington Dismiss Even More Marijuana Cases

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 19, 2012

    Prosecutors throughout Colorado and Washington state continue to dismiss hundreds of pending misdemeanor marijuana possession cases.

    On Thursday, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and City Attorney Doug Friednash announced that they would stop pressing charges and would review pending criminal cases involving minor cannabis possession offenses. Their announcement came one day after Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett announced he would dismiss pending cases that involved less than an ounce of marijuana.

    Fifty-five percent of Colorado voters on Election Day approved Amendment 64, which allows for the legal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants in private by those persons age 21 and over. The law will take effect the first week of January, 2013.

    Prosecutors throughout Washington are also dismissing criminal charges against minor marijuana offenders. Most recently, prosecutors in Thurston County and Olympia announced that they would be dismissing all pending criminal cases involving the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. Thurston County officials announced their decision shortly after receiving a request from the Thurston County chapter of NORML.

    Thurston and Olympia County prosecutors join officials in several other Washington counties — including two of the state’s largest counties: King County and Pierce County — as well as Clark County and Spokane, all of which are have dismissed or are preparing to dismiss pending cannabis cases from the docket.

    Washington state prosecutors’ actions follow voters’ passage of Initiative 502, which removes criminal penalties specific to the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use (as well as the possession of up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form.) The law is set to take effect on December 6, 2012.

    Explaining his decision to drop hundreds of pending cannabis cases ahead of the enactment of the new law, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg told The Seattle Times: “Although the effective date of I-502 is not until December 6, there is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month. I think when the people voted to change the policy, they weren’t focused on when the effective date of the new policy would be. They spoke loudly and clearly that we should not treat small amounts of marijuana as an offense.”

    39 Responses to “Prosecutors In Colorado, Washington Dismiss Even More Marijuana Cases”

    1. BudKillsPainBetterThenOpiates says:

      So I’ve been hearing and reading that prices will drop to crazy low amounts…I’ve herd conflicting thoughts. Some say by 2014 ounces of top shelf kush will cost $10…I’ve also herd that top shelf kush will be around $100 and I’ve herd that by 2014 prices coud even be higher then they are now such as $700 for an ounce of kush. I live in a state that borders Colorado and for the last 4 months Ive been saving money so I can move to Colorado. Nothing helps my back pain better then nugs. So how much are ounces going for now in Colorado?

    2. Evening Bud says:

      Rafael, I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. I think if you’re 21 years or older you can.

      I agree with nearly every comment on this board. I agree, for instance, that legalization was voted in in WA and CO partly because attitudes and education on MJ have changed.

      However, I believe it is even more a result of changing age demographics. The oldest voters, those who traditionally vote to keep MJ illegal, simply grew up in a different era, when pot smoking wasn’t in vogue. They are still afraid of pot, by and large, and still buy the hype.

      Those of us from the pot-smoking generations know the propaganda is BS. We know other drugs, legal drugs, like alcohol, are far more damaging to the human body and psyche. I’ve said all along on these posts that it is just a matter of time–as our numbers continue to grow, and the numbers of the anti-MJ folks continue to dwindle, the chances of MJ being legalized will increase proportionately.

      Concerning those posters who kept insisting, prior to this past election, that the Feds would never allow MJ to be legal–don’t you feel a bit silly now? Of course, we have yet to see the reaction of the Feds of this two-state legalization. Hopefully, it won’t be too severe. Hopefully, our side will be able to fight it successfully. In the meantime, we just have to keep fighting the good fight, try to get more and more states to legalize.

      Here’s a toke to all my brothers and sisters on this site, and to the good people at NORML.

    3. Rafael Smokes says:

      My question is if Colorado has made maryjane a “recreational” drug, does that mean that “visitors” to the state may legally smoke as well???

    4. Drug war pow says:

      I am suffering here in Colorado in this moment as a felon for only having less than 2 ounces. I am hopeing this new law at least helps to reduce my probation sentance. Who out there agrees this should happen for me and everyone else in the same boat, and can anyone at norml help me to do this, preferably pro bono.

    5. Wieland says:

      Whats going to happen in the courts when it comes to distinguishing the difference between usage and impairment? The courts still havn’t realized there is a difference between usage and impaiment. Knowing the difference will determine when the courts can prosecute employees and/or employers for employment drug policies. There will be allot of misunderstandings and law suits for urine drug tests. The current urine tests only test for metabolites which shows usage. Not the active THC in the blood that causes impaiment. So even though legalization has begun there is still allot of work to do if people don’t want thier privacy invaded or discriminated against using marijuana on their own time.

    6. It’s just plain time. Time for the ONDCP to admit they have failed.

      Count your loses, and then move on.
      Even if the Feds Block this, this will influence other states to take the same initiative, and then pass laws similar.
      Eventually, this will spread to the rest of the country. So far, the Feds have ignored what WA and CO have done. Hopefully, they start retail sale, making it tougher to control in other states. This will follow to change of laws, to help keep things under better control. I believe the Stupid WOD… War On Drugs is over.

    7. Stony Alabama says:

      Because of the backwards ass laws where I live, I have been on probation now for two years over about a half ounce. When I found out about the legalization for recreational use of pot in WA and CO, it brought tears of joy to my eyes. I’m so happy that the opinion over a PLANT has started to sway in this country.
      I’ve always chosen to get my head change with pot, because I’ve seen the effects of other things on people. Hell, my Dad died of cirrhosis (sp?) of the liver from drinking and pain pills. That was the absolute worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.
      So long as I live in this state, I will advocate for the legalization of marijuana here and everywhere else in the country.
      All that being said, I’m already planning to move to CO in six months when I am free and clear.
      Anyway, thanks NORML for giving us a voice and providing information to dispell the rumors that still stick around.

    8. Ben Smith says:

      Right on tetonmoon, the electoral college has gotta go, and the 2 party system. All politician should run on their own merit. Lobbyist, special interest groups campaign donations should be illegal.

      Great progress in these too states… Wonder how many years it’ll be for NC

    9. ptimistic says:

      weed will be legal in 25 years tops

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