Afternoon Jolt: Pot and Redistricting

By Afternoon Jolt August 3, 2011

Today's winner: Seattle pot smokers.

City attorney Pete Holmes presented his annual report to the city council's public safety committee this morning. The major highlight: After promising during his 2009 campaign to stop prosecuting simple marijuana cases, last year, Holmes did not intentionally file a single simple marijuana possession case, with the exception of "one case that accidentally got through," according to the report. The decline was despite the fact that the police referred almost three times as many marijuana cases to the city attorney's office last year---nearly 300, compared to just over 100.

"The whole policy surrounding marijuana is one where we have, as a society, asked law enforcement to enforce laws that are not enforceable.  and are ultimately about telling adults what they should do in their private lives and goes beyond public safety," Holmes said this morning. "We are undermining respect for law enforcement when we are telling adults what they should and shouldn't do in their private lives."

Committee chair Tim Burgess added, "I think I can speak for my colleagues on the whole council and say that we're in tune with that philosophical approach to law enforcement. ... We're all tracking in the same direction on this

Additionally, the number of cases Holmes filed for driving with a license suspended in the third degree declined about 10 percent.

Read the whole report, which also includes overviews of several high-profile cases---including the investigation of the infamous "Mexican piss" officer, Shandy Cobane---here.

Today's Loser is Jean Godden

Capitalizing on Seattle City Council member Jean Godden's answer in a  'yes' or 'no' lightning round of questions at last week's Candidate Survivor, when she said  she didn't support establishing a majority-minority district  in the current redistricting process (incumbent Tom Rasmussen was the only other candidate who said 'no'), Godden opponent Bobby Forch—who's black—made a point of  "urging" Seattle voters today to attend next week's redistricting commission forum is south Seattle.

Even better for Forch, state Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37, S. Seattle), who's also black, and one of the Democratic caucus leaders in Olympia, issued the following statement:

Current Councilmember Jean Godden is on record opposing this idea. That’s why I’m working with Bobby Forch to turn out the community to this hearing.  Seattle includes one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation, and it's critical that we have representation that reflects our community. Let’s join Bobby Forch and encourage more voter participation and diversity.

Pettigrew has endorsed Forch.
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