WENATCHEE — Have a pending marijuana case in Chelan or Okanogan County that involves less than an ounce?
You may be in luck.
Prosecutors in those two counties say they will consider dismissing such cases between now and when the new marijuana law goes into effect Dec. 6.
In North Central Washington, the dismissal considerations involve only 10 to 15 cases.
In Douglas County, Prosecutor Steve Clem said it is “unlikely” that such charges will be dismissed. “The crime date is the crime date,” he said. “The defendant violated the law.”
Grant County Prosecutor Angus Lee could not be reached for comment.
The prosecutors in Chelan and Okanogan counties join prosecutors in Spokane, Clark, Pierce and King counties in saying that it doesn’t make much sense to continue prosecuting cases after state voters on Nov. 6 approved Initiative 502. The Yakima County prosecutor said he will probably dismiss about a quarter of his cases because they involve small amounts of the drug.
Initiative 502 made possession of an ounce or less of marijuana legal for people 21 years or older after Dec. 6.
Doug Shae, Chelan County prosecutor, and Karl Sloan, Okanogan County prosecutor, said that already-completed misdemeanor marijuana cases, in which the defendant has been sentenced, are not going to be vacated.
“No, there’s finality in sentencing,” Shae said. “If people have pleaded guilty or already gone to court, we’re not going back.”
The prosecutors said that they will consider cases on an individual basis. If someone is under age 21, or if their charge involves an auto accident or a crime, dismissal won’t happen.
Shae did not know how many cases may be up for consideration but he noted that he did not think there have been any under 1-ounce cases before the court since the election.
Sloan said he has about 10 cases now that may be up for consideration. Clem said he may have three such cases.
Dee Riggs: 664-7147