City Attorney Holmes To Seek Dismissal Of All Pot-Use Tickets

WASHINGTON: Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, reacting to one police officer’s personal campaign to write citations for public marijuana use, will announce Monday that he will seek dismissal of more than 85 tickets issued during the first seven months of the year, according to two City Hall sources.

Holmes, who is set to discuss the decision at a briefing of the City Council on Monday morning, will go beyond Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole’s request to dismiss tickets written by bicycle Officer Randy Jokela and include all infractions, out of fairness to everyone who was cited, according to the sources and briefing materials provided to The Seattle Times.

Jokela, who issued about 80 percent of the $27 tickets for public pot use during the first half of the year, wrote on many of them “*Attn: Petey Holmes*.”


Vast Majority Of All Seattle Pot Tickets Written By Same Officer

WASHINGTON:  Seattle Police Department chief Kathleen O’Toole has launched an internal investigation into an officer who personally wrote nearly 80 percent of tickets issued this year for smoking marijuana in public, according to an internal e-mail O’Toole sent officers. The Stranger obtained the e-mail through city sources who asked to remain anonymous.
The tickets, punishable by $55 in fines, have been handed out disproportionally to people of color and the poor, according to a recently released city report.
“I have ensured this officer will not be performing patrol duties during the course of this investigation,” O’Toole said.
Last year, City Attorney Pete Holmes pushed hard to create the ticket for smoking marijuana in public, which led to speculation that the ticket would be issued disproportionately to people of color. The city council cooperated with Holmes’s request by passing an ordinance, but first the council inserted clauses into the law that say cops should give suspects a “first warning” and requiring a semi-annual report on the ticket’s impacts.

Puff, Puff, Pink Slip: Legal Weed Use Still Carries Job Risk

WASHINGTON: You’re not being paranoid: Even in Washington and Colorado, smoking a legal joint after work could still get an employee fired.

The whirlwind firing-turned-rehiring of a tie-dye-bedecked marijuana buyer in Spokane last week – followed by an admission Friday by Seattle’s City Attorney that he took pot to work – only clouded chronic confusion among many workers in the two pot-friendly states who ask if their legal-weed rights trump an employer’s cannabis policies.

The answer, for now, remains utterly non-hazy: No.

Workers still can be booted –- or never hired in the first place –- for puffing cannabis if anti-pot rules exist in their employers’ HR handbooks. So, if adults in Colorado and Washington legally consume weed after work, away from the job site or the office, they must remain mindful of the drug rules at the shops and offices where they ply their trades, according to labor-law experts in both states.

“Employers do hold all the cards. You’re not guaranteed a job. If not using marijuana is in the contract, or in the terms of the job, you can get fired,” said David Rheins, CEO of the Seattle-based Marijuana Business Association, considered the cannabis industry’s chamber of commerce.

Seattle City Attorney Holmes And WSLCB Member Chris Marr Keynote “Canna Business & The Law”

WASHINGTON: Sometime in July, the first recreational marijuana retail stores will open their doors in Washington State.  In anticipation hundreds of  I-502 applicants are scrambling to get all their ducks in a row, so they can attain their license in time for the market debut.

The impending deadline has put tremendous stress on these mainly small legal “canna businesses,” all of whom share the traditional pressing needs of any startup – business planning, financing, real estate, HR, branding, marketing, and sales — with the additional burden of adhering to the strict compliance regulations set by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB).

In an effort to get all key players in one room, Marijuana Business Association (MJBA), the leading trade organization serving the emerging legal cannabis, medical marijuana and hemp industries, has teamed with Canna Law Group – the nascent industry’s leading legal firm – to present, “Canna Business and the Law: A Must Attend B2B Seminar for I-502 Licensees, and Professional Service Providers,” at the Westin Seattle, Thursday May 22nd, from 9:00-4:20.

Screenshot 2014-05-20 13.20.04Canna Business and the LawSeattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who famously sponsored I-502, will deliver a keynote address at lunch, as will WSLCB Member Chris Marr.  Salal Credit Union, the first credit union in Western Washington to announce it would begin accepting some I-502 accounts will make news by sending its Chief Lending Officer, Bob Schweigert, to participate on the “Managing Your Marijuana Money” panel.  Patrick Vo, COO of BioTrackTHC, the official software of I-502, will be a featured panelist, as will Redmond’s #1 Pot Lottery retail winner, the Grass Is Always Greener’s Jenny Carbon. The rest of the featured participants on the day’s 5 panels reads like a Who’s Who of Washington’s legal marijuana business, including representatives from the top attorneys, CPAs, business leaders and governmental officials.

“It is the mission of the MJBA to provide the reliable business intelligence, professional community and best ethical practices necessary to create a viable, sustainable and profitable marketplace,” said MJBA CEO David Rheins. “We are honored to have both Seattle City Attorney Holmes and WSLCB Member Marr address this historic I-502 Seminar. Together their two speeches will signal the ‘ringing of the market bell’ ushering in not only a new legal industry for Washington, but a new era of economic re-invigoration and job creation for our local communities.”

Canna Law Group Practice Leader Hilary Bricken, Dope Magazine’s “Marijuana Attorney of the Year” in 2013, will deliver the breakfast keynote, and CNBC Senior Editor Al Olson will be the exclusive event’s master of ceremonies.

Tickets are $199 for MJBA members, $250 non-members, and include a continental breakfast, boxed lunch and invitation to a 4:20 Happy Hour. Buy your tickets here:

4 Keys To Moving Forward With Marijuana Reform

Guest Opinion: A leader in the legalization effort says there is a lot more to do to fulfill the promise of the voter-approved initiative.  By Pete Holmes

WASHINGTON: Some time this summer, retail marijuana stores will open around the state, providing residents with the legal access they demanded when they approved Initiative 502 a year and a half ago.

While that step is huge, much work remains to be done in four crucial areas before we can call Washington’s legalization of recreational marijuana a success: (1) Regulatory enforcement to keep I-502’s promises to voters; (2) an adequate supply of legal marijuana to put illegal (unlicensed) drug dealers out of business; (3) reconciling the recreational and medical marijuana systems; and (4) incentivizing local governments not to “opt out” of I-502.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes Warns: Not Enough Retail Pot Shops

WASHINGTON: Twenty-one retail marijuana outlets likely won’t be enough to meet Seattle’s demand for now-legal, taxed, and regulated recreational marijuana,  Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says in a letter to the Washington State Liquor Control Board. [Read more…]

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes Warns: Not Enough Retail Pot Shops

WASHINGTON: Twenty-one retail marijuana outlets likely won’t be enough to meet Seattle’s demand for now-legal, taxed, and regulated recreational marijuana,  Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says in a letter to the Washington State Liquor Control Board. [Read more…]

As Drug Czar Gil Exits, Does U.S. Really Need a New One?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske is leaving office unceremoniously, forgotten long before he was ever known to most Americans.

But for those leading the push to legalize marijuana, he’ll be remembered as the tough-talking former police chief from Seattle who never yielded on the question of legalization, always warning of the health dangers linked to smoking pot. That stance put him at odds with the growing majority of Americans who now back legalization. [Read more…]