City Of Seattle Will No Longer Prosecute Marijuana Possession Offenses

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director January 19, 2010

    Newly elected city attorney Peter Holmes will no longer prosecute minor marijuana possession offenses, according to a report published in The Seattle Times.

    “[The city of Seattle] is no longer going to prosecute marijuana possession cases anymore,” said Holmes.  The Times reports that Holmes has already begun dismissing cases that were filed by the previous city attorney, Tom Carr.

    Holmes defeated Carr in the November 2009 election.

    In 2003, Seattle voters approved Initiative 75, which requires that “the Seattle Police Department and City Attorney’s Office shall make the investigation, arrest and prosecution of marijuana offenses, when the marijuana was intended for adult personal use, the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.”

    A 2008 citywide review of the ordinance reported “no evidence of any adverse effects of the implementation of I-75, including specifically: 1. No evident increase in marijuana use among youth and young adults; 2. No evident increase in crime; and 3. No adverse impact on public health.”

    Tomorrow, Washington state lawmakers on the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness will vote on two pending marijuana law reform proposals, House Bill 1177 and House Bill 2401. House Bill 1177 seeks to reclassify the possession of forty grams or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a class 2 civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine. House Bill 2401 seeks to “remove all existing civil and criminal penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.”

    The Committee is scheduled to vote at 1:30pm pst. You can watch this vote live here.

    [UPDATE!!! If you live in Washington and have not yet contacted the Committee, you may wish to do so now, while you still can.

    House panel to snuff out marijuana bills
    via The Herald


    Rep. Chris Hurst, chairman of the public safety panel, told me there are not enough votes to move either bill out of committee.

    There are five Democrats and three Republicans on the committee. The Republicans will unite against the bills. Hurst and Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, both former cops, each said they will oppose the bills.]

    57 responses to “City Of Seattle Will No Longer Prosecute Marijuana Possession Offenses”

    1. Stephen says:

      The real patriots salute you, Seattle.

    2. DB says:

      *fingers crossed* on House Bill 2401

    3. DB says:

      Leave it up to the Republicans as usual to prevent our nation from moving forward instead of backward and into the dark ages.

      Such is the way of our nation, the world’s greatest police state.

    4. Lucy says:


    5. alex says:

      I’d like to personally thank those voting against it for helping me stay in pain, and others stay in pain for that much longer….we appreciate your assistance in keeping us on Oxycontin and medications that will kill us by 30…thanks! Hey, at least I can drink right? oh I can’t…hmm..I hate that there are people who care enough to say I am against this…its just silly, you really want to vote against pain relief? They should be ashamed of themselves. When the day comes that a family member has cancer, or a major neuro disorder and they use marijuana to relieve many many symptoms, they will feel like fools.

    6. Don says:

      If they do not want to do it the easy way, Where they can maintain a higher level of control of Cannabis,Just take it to the Voters and show them how Stupid they are, Replace them also!!!

    7. Richard says:

      This is great news. So far this year it seems like every week or so there’s more great marijuana news.

      The dominoes are beginning to fall, and I for one am ecstatic.

    8. Luke says:

      That’s okay. With Seattle throwing out possesion cases before they pass this guy’s desk – yeah. I guess you could say this city is the latest domino. Everyoine talks about when the dominos begin to fall – well, I always looked at the Netherlands as the first domino. Then, California legalized medical use – that was the next. Now, we have 14 states with medical laws, and 15, I think, who have went ahead and decrimmed down to fines. And now we have cities and counties making possesion their lowest priority, which means the 12 year old stealing a candy bar at 7-11 is supposed to be more a crime than owning cannabis. And Seattle? Everyone here keeps saying when the dominos start falling – I say they have been for a while – albeit verrrrry sllllllllllowly. These updates we see here and on other sites, I see them as dominos falling, rather than a little more weight being placed on the first. We shouldn’t get aggrivated over how slow it’s moving – that was something for the 80s and 90s, when all this started happening on a managable scale. Progress for this is not really happening slow – it has actually picked up lots and lots of speed, so much so that it is moving along at a steady rate. I predict within 3 years, it will go from steady to fast. Then, in another 1 or 2 years, it will be moving along so fast, these German throw-backs from 1942 will feel the wind and eat our dust.

    9. Jed The head says:

      It sounds like Denver, Seattle and Breckenridge may be the best places to live in America!

      [Editor’s note: Indeed, these are blessed places to reside. Also, the state of Alaska has zero penalty for possession of one ounce or below of cannabis.]

    10. Ganjjamon says:

      Almost brought me to tears of joy!!!! Victory and Justice is near, freedom in the land of the free will once again be a reality!!