Marijuana legalization
3:43 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Update: Feds haven't made up their minds about legal pot

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire says the federal government still hasn't decided whether to take action to block new laws legalizing marijuana in her state and Colorado.

Gregoire met Tuesday with Deputy Attorney General James Cole in Washington, D.C. Gregoire told Cole she would prefer to know "sooner rather than later," because Washington is in the process of getting ready to decriminalize pot, which is still illegal under federal law.

Initiative 502 passed last week with 55 percent of the vote in Washington. It decriminalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana beginning Dec. 6. The state would license the growing, processing and labeling of marijuana, but state officials have a year to come up with those rules before sales can begin.

Colorado also passed a measure legalizing the drug.

Clark County joins King, Pierce in dismissing cases

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The Clark County prosecutor is joining other prosecutors around the state in dropping misdemeanor marijuana possession cases in the wake of voters legalizing the recreational use of the drug.

Gregoire will meet Thursday with U.S. Attorney General's office for guidance.

Prosecutor Tony Golik says 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.

Initiative 502, which legalizes marijuana use of 1 ounce or less in Washington, goes into effect December 6. Last week King and Pierce county prosecutors said they were dropping similar cases.

Golik told the Columbian that the dismissals are "straight-up possession cases." Golik couldn't estimate the number of cases affected by his decision.