With the passage of Initiative 502 last year in Washington State, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older, while consuming in public remains illegal. However, those doing so in Seattle will only have to pay a $27 fine if caught, under a proposal approved yesterday by the Seattle City Council; this fine is significantly less than the state-wide fine of $103.
The proposal calls on police to issue a warning for someone’s first offense of smoking in public, with all subsequent offenses being a max of $27. Seattle’s Police Department will be mandated with monitoring enforcement by age, race and sex, as well as location, so that the council can evaluate whether the law is being fairly enforced.
The measure now heads to Mayor Mike McGinn for final consideration. If it’s signed into law, as expected, it will take effect 30 days after receiving a signature.