Drug Law

New Seattle City Attorney to Dismiss Pot Possession Cases

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Pete Holmes, the newly elected Seattle city attorney, is already making good on his campaign promise to dismiss any marijuana possession charges that come through his office, the Seattle Times reported last week. Holmes dismissed two marijuana-related cases on his first day on the job, and several others are about to be dismissed, including cases taken up by the previous city attorney.

According to the Times, Holmes’ predecessor, Tom Carr, had continued to prosecute low-level marijuana arrests even after city voters passed a referendum in 2003 making marijuana the lowest law-enforcement priority for local officials.

This is just the latest in a whole string of good newscoming out of Washington state in recent weeks.

A new poll released by Survey USA found that 54% of Washington voters support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, and selling the natural plant in state-run liquor stores. When asked broadly if voters “think legalizing marijuana is a good idea,” support was even higher at 56%.

Last month two Washington state legislators submitted a bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. A few days later Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn came out publicly in support of ending marijuana prohibition in The Evergreen State.

A bill more likely to pass is the decriminalization bill introduced last year, which would turn possession of small amounts of marijuana into an infraction similar to a speeding ticket. The Washington State Bar Association has endorsed both bills.

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