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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Hundreds of marijuana possession cases already dismissed in Washington

•, by: J. D. Heyes
 There is a legal showdown brewing between the federal government and two states whose residents voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana earlier this month, as local prosecutors in one of those states - Washington - have already begun dismissing hundreds of cases involving persons who were caught with the illegal substance prior to Election Day.

Prosecutors in King County - which includes the cities of Seattle and Bellevue - and Pierce County, directly to the south, have dismissed more than 220 misdemeanor pot cases following voter approval Nov. 6 of Initiative 502, or I-502, which makes possession of one ounce of marijuana legal after Dec. 6. Though technically the law does not take effect for a couple more weeks, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided to apply I-502 retroactively.

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