Responding to increasing outrage over a police raid on a legal, two-plant medical cannabis garden, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on Monday announced an executive review of the city’s cannabis enforcement policies.
“It’s not the policy, or the goal, of the city to investigate, arrest and prosecute individuals who possess small amounts of marijuana,” said McGinn. The mayor organized a review panel consisting of the city attorney, police chief, county prosecutor, and a member of the city council.
Starting on Tuesday, November 2, a specific assistant police chief must approve all marijuana search warrants in the city.
Washington is one of 14 states that allow the medical use of cannabis, and Seattle voters directed police to lay off the pot enforcement with the passage of I-75, a “lowest priority” directive, in 2003.
With a county prosecutor sympathetic to medical marijuana and a city attorney that refuses to pursue pot cases at all, Seattle is seen as a safe haven for medical marijuana patients in Washington.