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. Melissa says:

      Think of all the Money that the Tax Payers of Seattle Washington are going to save….Millions

    2. Bryce says:

      This is HUGE!!!!

      (Right? First step kinda thing?)

    3. ol tex says:

      Why is it the Republicans always vote against? It just always seems to work out that way.

    4. jerry d says:

      (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    5. LLLou says:

      Paul, your article is a little misleading in that the impression that you give is that HB2401 as you wrote it
      will “remove all existing civil and criminal penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.” the fact is that to legally cultivate you will need to get a state license ,AND you can only sell to the state liquor stores. In fact HB2401 REMOVES the legal protections for MedMar people to grow their own.

    6. somedood says:

      How do the cops uniting against the bill not see that they are being the bad guy? They aren’t doctors or scientists whom truely should know the facts. They are just being villians plain and simple.

      it . I said this in a post several posts ago .


    8. Chris Robinson says:

      I can not in good trust approve of HB 1177. Section 3 makes it clear that you may posess the marijuana but no instrument that may facilitate the consumption of it. Maybe thisis the way the state wishes to run, similar to Amsterdam in which the weed is basic legal but the sale and transfer of it is not, so the black market continues to thrive, while the law enforcement community tend to turn a blind eye. What is the point? I can however vote yes for HB 2401.

    9. Justin says:

      if we cannot get marijuana legalized with over 50% wanting to legalize it? and im way more than sure that there are people, groups, societys that want it legal in Washington but don’t know or DO KNOW but do NOTHING for it. Sadly there are more than 1 person that does nothing for what they beleive in. If I could push there weight along with mine I would.

    10. HighMtnSkier says:

      Great stuff. Knowing this, you’d have to be a real asshole of a cop to actually arrest someone for possession.

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