|Seattleites protest marijuana laws in the annual Marijuana March, May 2008.|
By the end of January, more than 25 people charged with possession could be off the hook, reports Linda Brill at KING 5 News.
Even if you are arrested for marijuana in Seattle, it's more than likely you won't be prosecuted.
During his campaign for city attorney, Pete Holmes promised he would dismiss marijuana possession cases brought by his predecessor, former City Attorney Pete Carr. Despite an initiative passed by Seattle voters a few years ago, Carr's office had continued to vigorously prosecute many cannabis cases.
Over the weekend Holmes' office reviewed a stack of pot cases and determined that more than two dozen will be dropped.
"It looks right now that they will all be dismissed by the end of the month," said Kathy Mulady, spokeswoman for the city attorney's office.
"I was surprised at the number," Holmes told Dominic Holden of The Stranger. "It seemed to grow as we dug into it."
Holmes' predecessor, Carr, had claimed that pot cases, especially those where possession was the only charge, were extremely rare. "I understood on the campaign trail that it was a negligible number," Holmes said. "I think that 25 is a pretty serious number."
According to a Seattle police spokeswoman, they'll continue to bust people for marijuana, even with the change in prosecution. It will, however, continue to be a very low priority, the police department claims.
The Washington Legislature is considering bills which would decriminalize or legalize marijuana in the state.
The herb would remain illegal under federal law.