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Puyallup to Drop Outstanding Pot Charges, Police to Enforce Decriminalization Laws

Puyallup’s municipal court and police will follow new marijuana laws after Dec. 6.

Puyallup’s criminal justice system—courts and police—are prepared to follow the law as it changes on Dec. 6, with the passage of I-502 and marijuana decriminalization starts across the state.

“Similar to other jurisdictions, including Pierce and King Counties, [Puyallup] will be moving to dismiss pending marijuana charges,” said city attorney Kevin Yamamoto. “The timing of the dismissals will vary due to court scheduling, but will occur relatively soon after December 6.”

On the policing side, Puyallup Police plan to follow suit.

“Officers will no longer charge adults, 21 and over, with possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. Possession of more than an ounce and less than 40 grams of marijuana will continue to be a misdemeanor. Possession of more than 40 grams of marijuana will continue to be a felony,” said Captain Dalan Brokaw.

Adults over 21 years old will also be able to possess paraphernalia necessary to consume the legal amount. However, once someone decides to get behind the wheel of a car, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.

“A person under 21 is presumed to be driving while intoxicated if they have 0.01 or more nanograms of marijuana in their system,” said Brokaw. “A person over 21 is presumed to be driving while intoxicated if they have 5.00 or more nanograms of marijuana in their system.”

Manufacture and delivery of marijuana is still a crime. The Liquor Control Board has until Dec. 1, 2013 to create regulations surrounding production and sale of marijuana, so until that happens Puyallup plans to follow protocol and cite those who grow, sell or transport.

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