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Post-502: Washington Prosecutors Dismiss 220 Marijuana Cases

Posted on  November 12, 2012 by  News Admin

 Prosecutors in Washington's two most populous counties are dismissing more than 220 misdemeanor marijuana cases after state voters on Tuesday decriminalized small amounts of cannabis. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg is dismissing 175 cases, and Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said he was dismissing "about four dozen" such misdemeanor cases where marijuana is the only offense, reports Jonathan Martin at The Seattle Times. The prosecutors decided to apply I-502 -- which removes criminal penalties for up to an ounce of marijuana -- retroactively. I-502 comes into effect on December 6, one month after voters approved it in Tuesday's general election. "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. The dismissed cases involved pot arrests in unincorporated areas of King County, as well as state highways on the University of Washington. About 40 of the cases had already been filed in court as criminal charges. Those charges will be dismissed. Another 135 cases were waiting for charging decisions and will be returned to the arrest police agency. Pierce County Prosecutor Lindquist said he was throwing out "about four dozen" pending cases where misdemeanor marijuana possession is the only offense. "The people have spoken through this initiative," Lindquist said. "And as a practical matter, I don't think you could sell a simple marijuana case to a jury after this initiative passed." He said he and his staff would continue...

State of Washington Estimates Legal Pot Will Be $12 A Gram

Posted on  November 09, 2012 by  News Admin

 Legal marijuana in Washington state will average $12 a gram, according to the state Liquor Control Board, which has been put in charge of regulating, taxing and selling cannabis in the state by the voters' approval of I-502. At least a year will be spent studying and setting up the marijuana distribution system before adults 21 and older and actually walk in a store and buy weed. The Liquor Control Board has released a new fact sheet [PDF] on a website designed to help Washington residents keep track of progress to develop regulations for selling and growing marijuana, reports the Spokane Spokesman. "Based on average retail mark-up prices, estimated producer price is $3 per gram and estimated processor price is $6 per gram," the fact sheet states. Besides $250 application fee and $1,000 annual licensing renewal fees -- with separate licenses for producer, processor, and retailer --  there's a 25 percent marijuana tax paid by producers at the wholesale level, 25 percent paid by the processor upon sale to a retailer; and another 25 percent excise tax at the retail level. Estimates have varied wildly on the amount of tax revenue which will be generated; some say federal preemption will prevent the pot stores from ever opening. The number of marijuana outlets per county will be controlled; in other words, once a certain number of outlets are open, no more licenses will be awarded. • Marijuana producers will be those who grow cannabis for sale at wholesale to processors, and allows for...

Washington Becomes 2nd State In One Day To Legalize Marijuana

Posted on  November 09, 2012 by  News Admin

  Voters Say Yes To Regulation, Taxation Plan Isn't it just the way it always goes? Nothing for 75 years, then two states in one day. Washington voters resoundingly approved Initiative 502, which regulates and taxes marijuana production in the state, with 56 percent voting Yes and 44 percent voting No. The state's voters on Tuesday evening joined those of Colorado, from which results had become final earlier, in legalizing cannabis. "Marijuana policy reform remains an issue where the people lead and the politicians follow," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, "but Washington State shows that many politicians are beginning to catch up."  "It is now more obvious than ever that marijuana prohibition is a failed policy, and the voters in Colorado and Washington have sent a message to their elected leaders and the nation that they have had enough," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "It is costly, harmful, and dangerously misguided to continue arresting adults for using something that is safer than alcohol, particularly the seriously ill who could benefit from using marijuana. "A majority of Americans are sick of this nightmare and support treating marijuana in a rational manner," Kampia said. "Unfortunately, most lawmakers continue to ignore this fact and turn a blind eye to the harms caused by prohibition. "The residents of Colorado and Washington have taken the matter into their own hands and done something about it today," Kampia pointed out. "They should be congratulated for taking...