Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Monday, December 05, 2005

Seattle Marijuana Law Reform Has Little Impact


A 2003 law that made marijuana possession the lowest priority for Seattle police has not caused any of the problems feared by opponents, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Nov. 23.

"I'd say it's had little to no effect," said City Attorney Tom Carr, who strongly opposed Initiative 75, which voters approved two years ago. "And that's good. It hasn't been a problem. You can tell by the numbers."

In the mid-1990s, Seattle police were making 500 arrests annually for marijuana possession; last year, there were 59 such arrests, and just 35 so far this year. "It tends to be a couple of joints in the possession of someone stopped for something else," said Carr.

"It was a reasonable measure," said Dominic Holden, who chaired the ballot initiative campaign. "It is not hampered by state and federal law and it has not led to any 'reefer madness' claims."

Some local marijuana users said the law mainly codified the status quo relationship between police and smokers. "(This) initiative just helped change the public mindset, and encourage tolerance," said Seattle resident Ben Livingston. "That's important."

Mike McDonald, another city resident who supported I-75, said the shift in approach was evident when police found a friend of his smoking marijuana in his car recently. "They told him to put it out and move along," he said. "I don't think that would have happened before."


see also Seattle: Alternatives to the Drug War public presentations from OCT 2005
--  /Blair Anderson  
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