King County dismisses 175 marijuana possession cases
November 9, 2012 · Updated 3:51 PM
Mirror staff reports:
The King County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday that it will dismiss all misdemeanor marijuana possession cases as a result of the passage of Initiative 502, which legalizes marijuana possession of one ounce or less in Washington state.
The decision will affect 175 King County cases that are currently filed or referred for filing involving individuals age 21 and older who possessed one ounce or less of marijuana, according to the prosecutor's office.
With the passage of I-502, marijuana possession of one ounce or less by individuals age 21 and older will become legal in Washington state on Dec. 6.
King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said that dismissing these cases is the right thing to do in light of Tuesday’s vote.
“There is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month,” Satterberg said in a news release.
Following the county prosecutor's decision, the King County Sheriff’s Office announced that deputies "will not be directed to arrest or charge individuals caught with one ounce or less of marijuana following of the passage of I-502."
In Pierce County, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will dismiss “about four dozen” pending cases in which misdemeanor marijuana possession was the only offense, according to the Seattle Times.
In response to the passage of I-502, the state Liquor Control Board issued a statement, announcing that the organization will carry out the will of voters. The initiative gives the board until Dec. 1, 2013, to craft rules for implementation.
"I-502 establishes precedent for growing, processing, retailing and possessing marijuana. Essentially, a system will be built from the ground up," said the board statement. "Questions remain ahead as we work to implement I-502. Chief among them is the issue that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level."