City of Seattle Moves to Vacate Marijuana Convictions

The city will ask Seattle Municipal Court to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions prosecuted by the city before pot was legalized in Washington in 2012. Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes announced the decision Feb. 8.

The city of Seattle will ask Seattle Municipal Court to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions prosecuted by the city before pot was legalized in Washington in 2012. Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes announced the decision Feb. 8.

Seattle voters in 2003 approved a ballot measure making investigation, arrest, and prosecution of marijuana offenses (where the drug was intended for adult personal use) the city's lowest law enforcement priority, and The Seattle Times reported that soon after he was elected in 2010, Holmes dismissed all of the city's marijuana possession cases and said his office would no longer prosecute those cases.

A statement from Durkan's office said marijuana possession arrests in Washington rose from 4,000 in 1986 to 11,000 in 2010 and totaling 240,000 arrests during that entire period, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

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