Seattle Is Hempfest Friendly — So Why Are Marijuana Arrests Up?

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Photo: CNBC
Seattle welcomes Hempfest every year… but pot busts have gone UP after voters told police to make marijuana their lowest enforcement priority — even though the city attorney won’t prosecute pot cases!

​Please welcome well-known pot blogger and YouTube personality Primo to Toke of the Town. He’s got a few things he wants to say about Hempfest and Seattle! ~ Steve Elliott, Editor
The Emerald City is all abuzz about Hempfest this weekend, August 21 and 22.
The forecast is classic Seattle weather, overcast and 65 degrees, ideal for outdoors.
In the meantime, many of us Seattleites are wondering why so many tokers are being busted on our streets. The current arrest rate of almost 29 per month is almost triple the arrest rate of last year and almost four times the rate in 2004.


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Graphic: Tom Dougherty/The Stranger

​Even more bizarre is the fact that none, I mean zero, of those hundreds of cannabis users who have been arrested so far this year, have been prosecuted.
That’s right, they’ve been arrested, processed, fingerprinted, booked, and their cases have been handed over to the City Attorney, Pete Holmes.
Holmes was overwhelmingly elected after promising not to pursue marijuana possession cases, and he’s kept his word. No prosecutions.
Seattle also happens to be in the process of appointing a new police chief, John Diaz. He is being promoted from acting interim police chief, and has given no indication that he plans to stop wasting taxpayer money on harrassing pot smokers.
So, apparently, we can expect this policy of “false” arrest, with police knowing full well that there will be no prosecutions, to continue.
I find this whole situation especially mystifying given that this weekend, at Hempfest, police will watch thousands and thousands openly smoke marijuana, and all but blow it in their faces, without response.

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Photo: Primo
Primo: “So, apparently we can expect this policy of ‘false’ arrest, with police knowing full well that there will be no prosecutions, to continue.”

​Many, many Seattle police will gladly earn their overtime, “protecting the potheads”, watching the very crime they would have arrested them for the day before, or will arrest them for again, the day after Hempfest.
Can you imagine HeroinFest, or CocaineFest, or WifeBeaterFest, and the cops gladly standing by and watching it happen?
The hypocrisy is so glaring, it’s a city and state embarrassment.
Prompted to write this article by a piece I read called “Pot Paradox“, by Dominic Holden for The Stranger, August 17, I was surprised to notice one more aspect of his excellent work. He subtitled his piece “Seattle is the Vanguard of Legalizing Pot, So Why are Arrest Levels Worse than Ever?”
Really Dominic? Seattle is at the vanguard?
We couldn’t even get a ballot initiative qualified. We are still arresting our citizens for medicating in public.
Yet we will celebrate cannabis, publicly, at the largest such event in the country this weekend.
I’d say we’re closer to vagary than vanguard in our little ol’ corner of the country.
I hope we can get some clarity to this vexing situation sooner rather than later.
Yes on 19.
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