Court To Vacate Hundreds of Marijuana Convictions
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Court To Vacate Hundreds of Marijuana Convictions
Posted by CN Staff on September 25, 2018 at 15:24:19 PT
By Daniel Beekman, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times
Washington -- Seattle Municipal Court judges have agreed to vacate convictions and dismiss charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession prosecuted before pot was legalized in Washington state.City Attorney Pete Holmes filed a motion in April asking the court to take the historic step for all convictions and charges between 1996 and 2010 “to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color.”
All seven of the court’s judges signed an order Sept. 11 setting out a process for nixing the cases. As many as 542 people could be affected. The Seattle court doesn’t handle felony cases.“Insomuch as the conduct for which the defendant was convicted is no longer criminal, setting aside the conviction and dismissing the case serves the interests of justice,” the judges wrote.The order directs Holmes to hand over the last known address of each person affected. The court will mail out notices, giving each person 33 days to object or seek an individualized finding.After that, the court will vacate the convictions and dismiss the charges for everyone other than those who have objected or asked for individualized findings.In a statement, Holmes said the city should “take a moment to recognize the significance” of the court’s ruling.“We’ve come a long way, and I hope this action inspires other jurisdictions to follow suit,” the city attorney said.Mayor Jenny Durkan, who joined Holmes earlier this year in announcing the city’s position on the cases, also hailed the ruling.“For too many who call Seattle home, a misdemeanor marijuana conviction or charge has created barriers to opportunity — good jobs, housing, loans and education,” Durkan said in a statement.“While we cannot reverse the harm that was done, we will continue to give Seattle residents … a clean slate.”The ruling covers cases starting when Seattle took over misdemeanor marijuana prosecutions from King County and ending in 2010, when the city adopted a policy of no longer carrying out such prosecutions.Seattle took an intermediate step in 2003, when voters approved a ballot measure making personal-use marijuana offenses the city’s lowest enforcement priority.In 2010, soon after Holmes was elected, he dismissed the city’s active marijuana-possession cases and said his office would prosecute no more.Washington legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years or older in 2012, when voters approved state Initiative 502.Misdemeanor marijuana prosecutions between 1996 and 2010 disproportionately affected people of color, “and the African-American community in particular,” the Seattle Municipal Court judges wrote this month, noting that an estimated 46 percent of the defendants were black.The process of clearing the cases has taken months partly because of the unusual nature of the effort and because the city spent time trying to figure out how to make the dismissals count under federal immigration law.Since 1996, immigration courts have defined criminal convictions more broadly than local courts, so noncitizens can run into immigration problems even after their convictions are vacated.Holmes asked the Seattle court to render the city’s marijuana cases moot under immigration law by ruling that any noncitizens involved were, at the time, not adequately advised of the immigration consequences of their convictions.The judges declined to make that ruling. Noncitizens whose convictions are vacated will be able to seek the additional relief on an individual basis, said Dan Nolte, a Holmes spokesman.Seattle isn’t the only metropolis addressing old marijuana convictions. Since January, San Francisco has been working to dismiss misdemeanor and felony convictions. Seattle Times staff reporter Daniel Beekman covers Seattle city government and local politics.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Daniel Beekman, Seattle Times Staff ReporterPublished: September 24, 2018Copyright: 2018 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on October 05, 2018 at 08:03:06 PT
Thank you, Afterburner.
I do admire Dr. Carl Hart. He's nobody's fool.And I agree with what he's saying in that article. Any time I hear "Epidemic" from the government... I have serious doubts. Dr. Carl Hart is like an epidemic of truth speaking in a world that skirts around it every chance it gets. Kudos to him, as usual... and thank you for bringing that article to our attention.
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on October 02, 2018 at 12:42:43 PT
Hope #5
Your newish friend and source of wisdom, Dr. Carl Hart, agrees with you and more.Psychologist Explains the 'Myth' of the Opioid Epidemic — And the Social Damage Caused by America's Drug War.
Dr. Carl Hart is one of America's leading advocates for the legalization of drugs and their responsible use.
By Chauncey DeVega / Salon
September 26, 2018, 4:49 AM GMT
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on October 02, 2018 at 00:18:50 PT
I believe that, too, Sam Adams! Especially...
"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." And, pertaining to cannabis, as well as other things, but cannabis, too, besides that in Paul's letter to Timothy... it says in the first chapter of Genesis... "It is good". In my book... heh heh... anyone is free to abstain... but you aren't free to hurt those who don't abstain because it irritates you and you aren't free to take it from them.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on October 01, 2018 at 12:03:51 PT
excellent scripture lesson there JT!  I found it extremely gratifying to see that huge green bar of 70% approval on medMJ in Utah - a higher percentage that any other MJ initiative this year. It tells you the people of the Mormon Church have not lost their human compassion....unlike "Church" leaders. Can't help but think of this prophetic verse, also from the Bible....."The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, those consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." 
-Timothy 4:1-5.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on September 28, 2018 at 21:09:00 PT
John Tyler,
About those Morons, I mean Mormons: How on earth can any group wishing to consider themselves any form of "Christian" believers think it's fine to cage their fellow humans for using what God says is You are alluding to...But increasingly incriminating is the fact that the Christ Jesus has requested of Us, ALL of Us, including the Utah bunch to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. (Maybe the Utah cult's book doesn't teach that? -leaving room for that hatred?)Utah cults can not love someone and cage them for using what God indicates He created and says is good, AT THE SAME TIME. They have come to a crucial fork in the road and lost their way. They really expose their failings for all to see, RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN.& John Tyler, I'm not necessarily speaking to You but to other's who may also read this.Following the life and teachings of the Christ Jesus means NOT following Mormons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Choose the right path.
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Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on September 28, 2018 at 09:10:13 PT
preapproved in the Book or Mormon
With regard to the cannabis vote in Utah… of course the Mormon church is against it, however, the pro cannabis group is using the Mormons words against them by reminding them that in their own beloved Book of Mormon there is a passage that says that all herbs bearing seeds are good.Book of Mormon a Mormon version of the Bible
Chapter 2
(June–October 1830)11 And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself upon the earth, and it was so even as I spake.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, every herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good;I didn’t notice any exceptions for cannabis. So who is to be believed, some old guys running a church, or the writing of some other old guys supposedly inspired by God, or your own common sense? Hopefully common sense will prevail. When the Olympics came to Utah they quickly approved the sale and use of alcoholic beverages for the tourists.  From what I understand, cannabis is already widely available in Utah. They might as well go ahead and be flexible on this issue also. They are going to make a lot of money and it has already been preapproved in their scripture.
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on September 27, 2018 at 22:43:09 PT
Polling update and chart
Election Day is drawing near....big referendums at stake!  Michigan is looking is Utahhtts://
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