Marijuana

Hundreds of marijuana possession cases already dismissed in Washington

Thursday, November 15, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: marijuana, possession, Washington

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) There is a legal showdown brewing between the federal government and two states whose residents voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana earlier this month, as local prosecutors in one of those states - Washington - have already begun dismissing hundreds of cases involving persons who were caught with the illegal substance prior to Election Day.

Prosecutors in King County - which includes the cities of Seattle and Bellevue - and Pierce County, directly to the south, have dismissed more than 220 misdemeanor pot cases following voter approval Nov. 6 of Initiative 502, or I-502, which makes possession of one ounce of marijuana legal after Dec. 6. Though technically the law does not take effect for a couple more weeks, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided to apply I-502 retroactively.

"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," he said in a statement.

Local papers said the dismissed cases involved arrests in unincorporated King County, as well as the state highways and the University of Washington. About 40 of the cases had already been filed as criminal charges but those will be dismissed. Another 135 were pending charging decisions; they will now be returned to the arresting police agency, the Seattle Times said.

'The people have spoken'

Meanwhile, in Pierce County, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said he was dismissing "about four dozen" cases involving misdemeanor possession of pot as the only offense. He said his office would continue to prosecute cases where marijuana possession was a secondary offense to a more serious charge, like drunk driving.

"The people have spoken through this initiative," said Lindquist. "And as a practical matter, I don't think you could sell a simple marijuana case to a jury after this initiative passed."

Satterberg told the Times his office will continue prosecuting marijuana possession cases above the one ounce limit, which will allow for "a buffer for those whose scales are less than accurate."

He said he routinely allows his staff to let defendants who were initially charged with felony pot possession - those who are caught with more than 40 grams - to plead down to a misdemeanor.

"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," he told the paper.

The campaign manager for I-502, Alison Holcomb, said she was "incredibly moved" by Satterberg's decision, adding he showed "incredible courage."

A study conducted by a group of academics found that in the state of Washington there had been 241,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession cases over the past 25 years, with 67,000 of them in the past five years alone.

"If 502 hadn't passed," said Holcomb, "we'd see the same amount of marijuana possession cases every year. What makes a difference is changing the law."

I-502 campaign manager Alison Holcomb said she was "incredibly moved" by Satterberg's announcement, which she said showed "incredible courage."

Satterberg is the first county prosecutor to change his agency's charging policy in the wake of 502's passage, but other prosecutors are considering similar changes as well.

Tom McBride, of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, told the Times his office was "just starting to work through those issues."

City of Seattle Attorney Pete Holmes, meanwhile, has never prosecuted misdemeanor possession cases since taking office.

Will Washington continue to pick sides in state legal issues?

Not all prosecutors are taking such a lax approach. Spokane County prosecutor Jack Driscoll told the Spokesman-Review newspaper that, even after the Dec. 6 date, the only marijuana that could be possessed legally would have to come from state-licensed stores called for in I-502, and those won't be created for at least a year.

"The only thing that is legal is selling marijuana through those stores," Driscoll said. "That will be regulated by the state. You can't under this initiative have an ounce of marijuana that doesn't come from a state-issued provider. You still can't have black-market marijuana."

At the moment, possession of, or use of, marijuana remains against federal law, so the passage of I-502 and a similar measure in Colorado sets these states up for a legal clash with the U.S. Justice Department.

It wasn't clear yet whether the Obama administration would make the initiatives as much of an issue as, say, suing the state of Arizona over its recent immigration reform law (which was modeled after federal law) or going after several other states whose citizens passed initiatives like the one in Washington that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

That's the trouble with picking sides in legal issues; justice is no longer blind.

Sources:

http://blogs.seattletimes.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.cnn.com

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.