Seattle’s Mayor: City to ‘Undo Harm,’ Dismiss Cannabis Possession Charges

Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan said marijuana possession misdemeanours have ruined lives. (File image via Monocle)
Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan said marijuana possession misdemeanours have ruined lives. (File image via Monocle)

Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Twitter Thursday that she and the city’s Attorney Pete Holmes will move forward to “vacate convictions” and “dismiss charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession.”

“Seattle has an opportunity to continue undoing the harm to people’s lives brought on by the failed war on drugs,” Durkan added.

In her tweet, Durkan included an editorial she wrote for the website The Stranger.

She wrote: “I saw firsthand the “war on drugs,” including its devastating impacts on people, especially people of color and their families.”

The mayor said misdemeanor marijuana offenses destroyed “people’s lives.”

“Too many here in our community faced huge legal bills and fines, or had a harder time getting loans, apartments, and good-paying jobs,” she added.

Washington 1st to Legalize Marijuana

The seaport of Seattle is the largest city in the State of Washington, one of the nine U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. In 2012, Washington was the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana.

With a population of more than seven million, Seattle is also the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

One commentator on Twitter said it is a “small step in the right direction,” but wants to see an overarching decision that covers the whole state.

In early February, the two cities of San Francisco and San Diego in California started to automatically dismiss and reduce people’s past marijuana-related records — potentially benefiting more than 12,000 people.

California became the largest U.S. state to legalize marijuana on Jan. 1.

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