Times are changing, fast. States around the U.S. are working to end prohibition, nations like the Czech Republic have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and two states in the U.S. have legalized the retail sale of recreational cannabis. Among the shift in policy, a wave of support has trampled over the general public, as well as lawmakers and government officials. In short, cannabis is losing its place as a stigmatized substance.
Since the passage of Initiative 502 in Washington State, the Seattle Police Department has been at the forefront of destigmatizing this plant. They plan to continue this by sending their sitting Chief, Jim Pugel, to this weekends Cannabis Freedom March, an annual march where cannabis activists and advocates march through Seattle, bringing awareness to the marijuana reform movement. Seattle Police Department’s spokesman, Sergeant Sean Whitcomb, will also be speaking at the event.
“This is a public outreach opportunity,” stated Whitcomb, “Our department has been on the leading edge of public education and awareness surrounding Initiative 502. For us to be invited to the Cannabis Freedom March is fitting and not really surprising.” He adds that, “We serve the people and we support the law.. We were honored to be invited.”
Last month, the Seattle Police Department made news when they began a new policy in which they give warning letters, rather than arresting those found selling cannabis within the city – Initiative 502 legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, but distribution, when not licensed through the state, is still a felony.
The Cannabis Freedom March begins this Saturday at 10AM at Volunteer Park, with the march beginning around 1PM. The march ends at Westlake Park with a 4-hour rally. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is also expected to speak at the event.