King County Deputies Directed Not to Arrest Adults WIth an Ounce or Less of Marijuana

Marijuana possession has already been de-emphasized; not too much of a change expected in Shoreline

Following a change in filing by the King County prosecutor’s office, King County Sheriff’s Office deputies will not be directed to arrest or charge individuals caught with one ounce or less of marijuana following of the passage of I-502.

Shoreline is one of 12 municipalities that contract with the Sheriff’s Office for police services and the largest. It remains the policy decision of the municipal attorneys and policy makers of those cities to determine how they will proceed between now and Dec. 6. This decision only affects the deputies working in unincorporated King County

Shoreline’s city attorney Ian Sievers said there has been already a de-emphasis on prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases in King County and Shoreline but now that the state law legalizing small amounts for adults 21 and older has passed, that gives some clearer direction.

That said, it’s up to Police Chief Shawn Ledford to give direction to his officers on what to do in the next month. Sievers said the city prosecutor prosecutes cases if arrests are made by the police.

Ledford could not immediately be reached by phone Friday afternoon.

Earlier today the King County Prosecutor’s Office made a prosecutorial decision to dismiss several cases of marijuana possess. 

“Now that the initiative has passed, and now that the Prosecutor’s Office won’t be charging the individuals, we will also not focus on behavior that will be legal under Washington State law after Dec. 6,” said King County Sheriff Steve Strachan.


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