Prosecutors In Colorado, Washington Dismiss Even More Marijuana Cases

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 thoughts

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!]

  7. Good for you. Good for the voters.
    Look what we can do when we go vote, we can take our country back from the idiots in Washington DC.

  8. I would be interested in finding out just how much this has impacted the courts overload cases and if they will be reviewing and hopefully releasing those who are already in prison or on probation for less than an oz of Marijuana. I can’t wait for the stats on this.

  9. Perhaps it is time for NORML,ASA,DPA,LEAP and any other legalization organizations that want in to ask Obama for that debate on legalization he said was acceptable,,in a 1/2 page ad in several DC papers,,small print that you would have sent the request by mail but you wanted to be sure he read it and not some aide.

  10. @knowa, will do on the Marc Emery petition, another horrible injustice, and on the subject of petitions, please visit Jeffrey Dhywoods web page, he is the author of world war D,( an excellent book), and check out some of the petitions there. One is for the country of Uruguay, which seeks to be the first ever to legalize Cannabis, there are also ones to other leaders of south american nations who seek changes in these awful laws. If these nations change their laws, it will increase the pressure on all the rest to do the right thing for the people, and perhaps we will not have to go the slow road of state by state. Great to see the tide finally turn our way. Thanks to all.

  11. Thank you Norml! All my life I have wanted nothing more then to win this fight,and end the abuse of power by those in power. We need help here in Idaho.

  12. Well 2 weeks have passed by and all seems to be OK. If you are wondering what the prohibitionists are doing I have theory – They are so convinced that their lies are true that they are just waiting for the inevitable negative consequences to happen (as they see it) then they will re-start their campaigns. But all those involved need to make sure that does not happen.
    As for Obama – well he has been struck dumb or something. A crisis in the middle east, a natural disaster aftermath and issues with a legal conflict in 2 states and he does nothing. How long can he live off the “at least he’s not Romney” effect ? What a shame.

  13. “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.”

    I’ve been waiting to hear this kind of common sense from the drug warriors for a long, long time.

  14. When Men and Women stand up and break the chains and shackles of tyranny and oppression Only then do they become Free…

  15. Prices in WA are stable. I’m still paying around $145 for a half and $280 for an ounce. I highly doubt there will be a price change. I bet if anything in WA the prices will go up after it’s taxed and we’ll return to using the black market for access to herb.

  16. The quote from Dan Satterberg made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and made me proud that I voted. He has common sense and the courage of his convictions working for him. I would vote for this guy any day.

  17. The eople have spoken done over live with it. Fliping goverment is as back wards and tilted twords the R. It time for a change, legalze marijuana in al 50 states that a no brianer.

  18. Man, when/if it becomes legal where I live, I’ll never go through black market again (unless it’s shrooms/LSD) You have to know people, it’s on their terms watch out for those cops, it’s either bad weed or bad prices. I live in North East so I get highest prices. I’m jealous of those in WA and CO. I still have to sneak for my weed and all I got is this bad mid shit, the only good thing about it is it’s green, that’s it. I can’t get a refund or trade for better weed. Since I don’t have an inheritance I’m not swimming in cash. I couldn’t afford a nickel bag until next friday. I’m basically trying to say I would love a store where I get the same deal as everyone else and good shit and not have to worry about being locked in a cage with killers because I want to treat my depression and schizophrenia with something that works whenever I want it.

  19. I wish NY would change the laws I have ben busted 3 times since i was 18 years old I am 59 now and just want to smoke some weed I am way too old to go to jail for a nickle of pot or a ounce great job in Colorodo and Washington lets keep it going Good Luck what about drug testing in those states at work that is what really sucks POt stays in your system for so long it just sucks

  20. The issues we face are greed. The prison systems are owned by private corps as is DOC and security systems. This is a multi billion corp. These people don’t give a damn about ruining anyones life for a buck. It is a fact that sociopaths run corporations and government. So we have some chances but we need to wake up to the fact that we are being over run by sheeple. We control only the votes for local and state level officials. If you want change you must step outside of the two party system locally and make a way for an electorial non two party system. Otherwise it will be a Romney/Obama forever. Your local and state officials MUST represent the majority.. no matter what party affiliation they have. Hell my towns best mayor was the local drunk. But at least he had a sense of humanity and reality and stopped Walmart and growth beyond our resources. Once he was gone all the old retired people moved here and raped our land and our freedoms. We now live in a shithole. Just saying.. you only have the power to change if your willing to change. And you may screw it up the first few times but eventually we will learn and it will work itself out. Stop depending on a “leader” and start depending on yourselves.

  21. OH and here is another great thing that is happening in WA and CO. The end of voter suppression by means of insane drug laws that are with intention, weaning out any free thinking people. These hundreds of thrown out cases are just misdemeanors but when the law changes these where at one time felonies. Any felon is not allowed to vote. So our government as created of 10,000 felonies. This is wrong. WE are still citezens of the USA and should never be denied our vote because we may see the rules as unjust and therefore break them. That is democracy. Next fight? Change the laws that prohibit felons from voting and end the electorial college.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

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