Seattle Will Vacate More Than 500 Marijuana Convictions Because…
The justice system has been criticized for delivering sentences deemed too harsh for crimes such as possession of marijuana, especially when people of color are primarily affected. Now #Seattle judges want to make things right in a city where the recreational use of marijuana was legalized in 2012.
All seven judges of the city’s municipal court agreed this week to vacate convictions from 1996 to 2010 for misdemeanor marijuana possession, saying that they disproportionately impacted people of color, @CNN reports
“We’ve taken another important step to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs, and to build true economic opportunity for all,” Durkan said. “While we cannot reverse all the harm that was done, we will continue to act to give Seattle residents — including immigrants and refugees — a clean slate.”
Of the more than 500 cases cited, 46 percent involved African-American defendants, the judges said in their ruling. As of July 2017, the population of Seattle was about 7 percent African-American, according to the U.S. Census.
Now more than 500 people in the city will see their marijuana-related convictions set aside if they were prosecuted before the state of Washington legalized weed. According to the ruling, vacating the convictions “serves the interests of justice.”