Holmes Likely to Overturn "A Whole Stack" of Carr-Era Pot Cases

By Erica C. Barnett January 15, 2010

Editor's Note: This was originally posted at 11:21 this morning. It has since been updated and re-posted.

As PubliCola reported (via Twitter) from our Town Hall event with City Attorney Pete Holmes last night, Holmes' new criminal division director Craig Sims is in the process of reviewing all outstanding marijuana prosecutions pursued by former City Attorney Tom Carr. Holmes said he had dismissed six marijuana cases so far. Technically, that's untrue—he has only officially dismissed two marijuana cases—but Holmes' spokeswoman, Kathy Mulady, says the remaining four cases have been reviewed and will be dismissed "very soon." Additionally, Mulady says, Holmes' criminal division head, Craig Sims, is reviewing "a whole stack"of csaes  over the weekend—"probably a couple dozen."

Interestingly, although Carr insisted repeatedly that he was only prosecuting cases with associated crimes (e.g., resisting arrest with pot in your pocket), Mulady says most of the cases Sims has reviewed so far are "stand-alone marijuana cases"—the sort of cases the city attorney and police were explicitly instructed not to pursue after the passage of Initiative 75, which made marijuana possession the city's lowest law-enforcement priority.

The two cases that have been dismissed so far were both simple possession cases not associated with any other crime. Neither of the defendants in those two cases had any serious criminal record; one, who was arrested for possessing less than 40 grams of pot in September 2009, had several traffic violations and a charge of possession of tobacco by a minor; the other, arrested in June of last year, had no record whatsoever. Both were just 19 when they were arrested.
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