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King, Pierce county prosecutors dismiss more than 200 marijuana cases
Prosecutors for King and Pierce counties announced this afternoon that all misdemeanor marijuana cases in their counties have been dropped.
With legal possession of up to an ounce of pot just around the corner, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said that dismissing these cases is the right thing to do.
“Although the effective date of I-502 is not until December 6, there is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month,” Satterberg said in a press release.
Today’s decision will impact 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. With the passage of I-502, marijuana possession of one ounce or less by individuals age 21 and older will become legal in the State of Washington on December 6, the press release says.
The Seattle Times reports that Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is likewise dismissing “about four dozen” pending cases where misdemeanor marijuana was the only offense.
“This is the right thing to do under the circumstances. The people have spoken through this initiative,” Lindquist told KPLU. “And furthermore, I don’t think jurors would convict on simple marijuana cases after this initiative has passed.”
The Washington measure sets up a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and retail stores, where adults over 21 can buy up to an ounce. It also establishes a standard blood test limit for driving under the influence.