Judges in Seattle have decided to vacate the marijuana convictions of hundreds of people who were penalized for pot possession before the state made marijuana legal in 2012.
According to the Seattle Times, in April, city attorney Pete Holmes filed a motion asking the city’s seven municipal court judges to vacate the convictions of anyone charged with misdemeanor possession between 1996 and 2010. Holmes, who was elected in 2010, decided to stop prosecuting minor marijuana offenses when he took office.
“Inasmuch as the conduct for which the defendant was convicted is no longer criminal,” read the judges’ order, “setting aside the conviction and dismissing the case serves the interests of justice.”
On Monday, all seven judges passed the order (pdf).
The order also noted:
Possession of Marijuana charges prosecuted in Seattle Municipal Court between 1996 and 2010 disproportionally impacted persons of color in general, and the African American community in particular. Of the over 500 cases involved in this motion, the racial demographics of defendants were: 3% Asian, 46% black, 46% white, 3% Native American, 2% unknown. The Court makes no finding that these numbers are 100% accurate, or that individual defendants were specifically impacted because of their race.
City officials estimate that 542 people will be affected by the motion. Those affected by the order will be notified by mail and will have 33 days to object to having the charge removed or request an individualized filing. Those who want the charges removed from their records will have to do absolutely nothing.
“For too many who call Seattle home, a misdemeanor marijuana conviction or charge has created barriers to opportunity—good jobs, housing, loans and education,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan,
Komorn Law has represented numerous clients through the legal chaos of starting up a business in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Industry.
If you or someone you know is facing charges as a result of Medical Marijuana, DUI, Drugs, Forfeiture, Criminal Enterprise, etc. Please contact our office and ensure you’re defended by an experienced lawyer in the evolving laws.
Lead attorney Michael Komorn is recognized as an expert on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. He is the President of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (MMMA), a nonprofit patient advocacy group which advocates for the rights of medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.
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