Seattle: 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.”
On Wednesday, state lawmakers on the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness voted 5 to 3 against a pair of measures that sought to liberalize Washington’s marijuana laws. The first, House Bill 2401, sought to regulate the adult use and possession of marijuana like alcohol. The second, HB 1177, sought to reduce the penalties on minor marijuana possession offenses from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine to a monetary penalty of no more than $100.
All three Republican members of Committee rejected the measures, as did two Democrats. Both Democrat opponents are former police officers.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.