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Seattle city attorney to ask for dismissal of public marijuana use citations

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SEATTLE — Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is expected to ask for all public marijuana use citations written in the first seven months of the year be dismissed, according to a presentation to be given at Monday’s city council meeting.

Police issued 86 infractions in the first six months of the year — primarily in the West Precinct.

80-percent of those infractions were written by a single police officer, Randy Jokela. An investigation into the officer’s high number of citations is expected to wrap up in the next few weeks, according to a letter from Seattle Police Chief, Kathleen O’Toole to Holmes.

“In order to treat everyone equally during this time period, the City Attorney’s Office will request that all infractions issued between January 1 and July 30, 2014, be dismissed with prejudice,” the presentation says.

Officials say police are developing a new “enforcement directive” when it comes to handling public marijuana use.

According to the presentation, under the new directive:

  • Officers will first warn people whenever practical, but warnings are not required
  • Officers will use Misc. Incident Report (MIR) to document oral warnings
  • SPD direct files infractions in Seattle Municipal Court as with other infractions

A civil infraction is $27, according to police:

“It is unlawful to open a package containing or consume marijuana, useable marijuana or a marijuana-infused product in view of the general public. SMC 12A.20.100.”


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