The recent voter decision to legalize marijuana is already having a tangible impact in Washington state. Last week local prosecutors chose to dismiss more than 220 outstanding misdemeanor cannabis cases in their counties. Initiative 502 will soon make possession of one ounce of marijuana legal on Dec. 6, but King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided it made sense to apply the marijuana legal reform retroactively:
“Although the effective date of I-502 is not until December 6, there is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month. I think when the people voted to change the policy, they weren’t focused on when the effective date of the new policy would be. They spoke loudly and clearly that we should not treat small amounts of marijuana as an offense.”
This kind of reasoned leadership will help save the state’s economy millions throughout their court, prison and probation systems. The recent voter approved marijuana legalization is also expected to be a huge economic boon to related businesses in both Washington and Colorado. Doesn’t finally putting an end to our nation’s federal pot prohibition just make economic sense?