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Seattle Court Vacates Marijuana Possession Convictions

Judges in Seattle have ruled to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions in the city between 1996 and 2010.

The Seattle Municipal Court judges also agreed to dismiss any misdemeanor marijuana possession charges, according to the Seattle Times. The decision, unanimous by the court’s seven judges, could affect as many as 542 people.

Marijuana possession by adults 21 years and older became legal in Washington state in November 2012 when voters passed Initiative 502. However, Pete Holmes, Seattle’s city attorney dismissed any pending marijuana possession cases and said his office would not be prosecuting any future cases when he was elected in 2010.

Holmes filed a motion in April asking the court to vacate marijuana convictions “to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color,” the Times reported.

“Possession of Marijuana charges prosecuted in Seattle Municipal Court between 1996 and 2010 disproportionally impacted persons of color in general, and the African American community in particular,” the motion states. [Read more at US News & World Report]

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