Washington State Prosecutors Dropping Marijuana-Possession Cases After Vote


Now that Washington state voters have approved legalizing recreational marijuana, Clark County's top prosecutor plans to dismiss misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases on Dec. 6, reports the Vancouver (WA) Columbian. Tony Golik said his office will dismiss all cases that fit the requirements of the new law: those where the defendants are at least age 21 and the quantity of marijuana was less than 1 ounce, or 28 grams. Initiative 502 legalizes marijuana use of 1 ounce or less in Washington.

The new law won't mean dismissal of all cases, Golik said, because his office has pending possession of marijuana cases that exceed 1 ounce. When deciding on dismissals, “We're looking at straight-up possession cases,” Golik said. Prosecutors of King (Seattle) and Pierce counties said they were already dismissing dozens of marijuana possession cases. Law enforcement officials said the new law won't affect their efforts to fight drug-trafficking. Vancouver-Clark Regional Drug Task Force Commander Mike Cooke said his investigators focus on mid- and high-level drug dealers, not those found in possession of small amounts of marijuana. “The idea there's a lot of people in jail for simple possession of marijuana is really a giant myth,” he said.

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