Marijuana possession, up to one ounce, has been legal in Washington for almost two years now. Public consumption of marijuana has remained illegal during that time. One officer in Seattle took it upon himself to issue dozens of tickets for public marijuana consumption, mostly to homeless people and minorities. That unfair enforcement, and the ridiculousness of ticketing anyone for marijuana in general, has resulted in Seattle’s prosecutor voiding tickets issued for public consumption, and refunding fines to those that paid their ticket. Per The Guardian:
Seattle’s elected prosecutor said Monday he’s dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.
In a briefing to the city council on Monday, city attorney Pete Holmes says he is moving to dismiss approximately 100 tickets issued by the Seattle police department between 1 January and 31 July. His office also said it would be seeking a refund for 22 people who have already paid their $27 ticket.
For so many decades, elected officials and prosecutors opposed marijuana at all costs. It’s still taking me time to get used to the fact that logic is now being applied more and more in regards to marijuana policy. Imagine if every prosecutor took a stand like Seattle’s Pete Holmes? It would free up our justice system to dedicate more resources to real crimes. It would free up dockets for courts that should be focusing on prosecuting people that are harming society. I tip my hat to you Mr. Holmes, kudos!