In a municipal move signifying the dying war on drugs, the city of Seattle is going to vacate convictions and dismiss charges for marijuana misdemeanors. Former U.S. Attorney and Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes made the announcement during a press conference on Feb. 8, 2018.
“The war on drugs had devastating impacts on people, especially people of color and their families. People’s lives were ruined for misdemeanor marijuana offenses. This action is a necessary first step in righting the wrongs of the past and putting our progressive values into action,” Durkan said in a press release.
“The City of Seattle has long been a pioneer in changing the way we approach marijuana. I was proud to end the practice of charging simple marijuana possession cases when I became City Attorney and to sponsor I-502 two years later. Today we are taking another important step by moving to vacate past convictions for conduct that is now legal,” Holmes explained.
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office will work with Seattle’s municipal court to cancel convictions and dismiss charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession prosecuted by the city before the state of Washington legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, with no action required by the eligible individuals.
According to NPR, this move by Seattle could erase hundreds of marijuana misdemeanors.