As everyone pretty much knows by now, in 2012 Washington state voters approved I-502 legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and directing the Liquor Control Board to develop a process for regulating marijuana production, processing, selling, and delivery. I-502 includes a provision creating a civil infraction for consuming marijuana in public, with a fine up to $50.
Because of the passage of I-502, smoking pot in Washington is no longer a crime, but in Seattle it is going to be deemed an infraction if done in public. Based on the authority of I-502, the Seattle City Council earlier this month adopted legislation setting fines on smoking marijuana in public at the same level as public consumption of alcohol, $27. The legislation notes that the Seattle Police Department will first issue a warning to offenders before actually issuing a citation. The ordinance goes into effect thirty days after it is signed into law by the executive.
Of additional note, the Seattle City Council passed Ordinance 123661 in 2011, clarifying that the manufacture, production, processing, possession, transportation, delivery, dispensing, application, or administration of marijuana must comply with all applicable City laws, and that compliance with City laws does not constitute an exemption from compliance with applicable state and federal regulations.
If you or a loved one is cited with an offense in Seattle or anywhere else in Washington, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense attorney. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those cited for unlawful offenses all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case.