Prosecutors In Colorado And Washington Continue To Dismiss Marijuana Cases

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Prosecutors In Colorado And Washington Continue To Dismiss Marijuana CasesDenver, CO: Prosecutors throughout Colorado and Washington continue to dismiss hundreds of pending misdemeanor marijuana possession cases.

Late last week, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey and City Attorney Doug Friednash announced that they would cease 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 likely take effect the first week of January.

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 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 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 new law will take effect on December 6, 2012.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at: keith@norml.org.