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Council News Release

7/23/2014  11:40:00 AM

Bill Dow, Councilmember Licata's Office, 206-684-8803
Kimberly Mills, City Attorney's Office, 206-684-8602
Dana Robinson Slote, (206) 615-0061

Councilmember Nick Licata

Councilmember Nick Licata and City Attorney Pete Holmes' Statement on Marijuana Public Consumption Report

SEATTLE - Councilmember Nick Licata and City Attorney Pete Holmes issued the following statement this morning regarding the Seattle Police Department's report on enforcement of public consumption of marijuana:

"We'd like to thank the Seattle Police Department for completing its report on the first six months of enforcement of the public consumption of marijuana ordinance.

"Initiative 502, approved by state voters, created a civil fine in state law for public consumption of marijuana.  When the Council approved Ordinance 124393 to incorporate this provision of I-502 into city law, it drafted a section requiring SPD to monitor enforcement by age, race, sex and location.

"During the first half of 2014, 82 tickets were issued. While the sample size is small, it does indicate trends for race and homelessness we should continue to monitor.

"36% of tickets were issued to African-Americans, who make up 8% of Seattle's population according to the 2010 census. 33% went to African-American males.

"46% of those ticketed list addresses associated with homeless services, transitional housing, post offices, mental health services or motels. It appears tickets disproportionately affect people without private residences.

"This shows the need for places where people can legally consume marijuana in Seattle."

"The SPD has also agreed to send this information to Mark Kleiman and the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis for an independent peer analysis of the report. We look forward to their guidance regarding how we can improve our city's marijuana policies for all residents."

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