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. Anony says:

      Many of us are interested in other updates such as Has the price of marijuana gone down in Colorado and Washington?

      I have asked numerous forums and even e-mailed Seattletimes and Denverpost but still no response from any outlet yet..

      Here in California as of Nov. 2012, an ounce still costs anywhere from 200-400 Dollars, half ounce 100-200. Is it significantly lower or just a little lower than these prices?

      Can anyone please give me info on how much oz 1/2 oz costs in Colorado and Washington? We are curious and thank you in advanced! ^_^

    2. claygooding says:

      When the state dismisses all parolees and probation offenses that were because of possession of less than an ounce,,and any persons in prison for simple possession are released,,it will speak even louder to the public and legislators of other states.

    3. Nilbaan says:

      now we just need the federal government to remove it from a class 1 drug and we will be on easy street

    4. knowa says:

      Please sign the White House petition to let Marc Emery complete his sentence in Canada

    5. wbs 101 says:

      It’s game over but I can’t wait to see the Feds play their hand even though they have already lost.

    6. Tim says:

      Hope they do this in Nebraska soon, I’m facing a year in jail for Marijuana!

    7. bb54 says:

      I dont even need to read the article.Just looking at the title is already a candy treat to the eyes. I aint seen anythin like that on norml web site as far as I can remember.

    8. St. Nick says:

      People are waking up. Marijuana’s already here and it isn’t hurting anyone, unless they get arrested! It’s actually hurting all of us to keep it illegal. Wanting to and getting high is not an evil crime like murder or theft. Good job helping everyone by legalizing it. These cracks or holes in the levee of good feelings are widening. Life’s problems got you down? Take a few nice tokes off some nug-filled bowls and laugh your worries away into the sea of time.

    9. John McClane says:

      Norml, I can’t seem to find any blogs devoted to keeping marijuana illegal. I would love to go on and have an educated discussion about legalization. Can u point any out to us? It would be great to get conversations going between the pro and con camps.

      [Editor’s note: There are so few anti-cannabis organizations these days–most are government surrogates–however, here are some non-profit groups that oppose NORML:


      Have at them!]

    10. kris says:

      I’m so proud of these two states for standing up for what is right. <3