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November 12, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Another former top federal prosecutor endorses pot legalization

The former U.S. Attorney for Seattle, Kate Pflaumer, endorsed marijuana legalization in a Seattle Times guest editorial today, adding credibility to an already high-profile initiative campaign.

Pflaumer joins former U.S. Attorney John McKay in endorsing the New Approach Washington campaign, an initiative likely headed to the 2012 state Legislature that would legalize and regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol. The Seattle Times column also was signed by former King County Judge Robert Alsdorf and Anne Levinson, a former Seattle Municipal Court judge.

McKay had been the highest level law enforcement official to endorse legalization, according to advocates, and has made an interesting journey from a Republican, George W. Bush-appointed prosecutor. The initiative also has been endorsed by the state Democratic party, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, former Spokane County public health officer Kim Thorburn and travel guru Rick Steves.

Pflaumer, appointed by President Clinton, also has worked as the Seattle Police Department’s civilian auditor and vetted clergy sexual abuse claims against the Spokane Catholic diocese during bankruptcy.

In the editorial, Pflaumer, Alsdorf and Levinson said marijuana legalization would generate money instead of being an expensive burden on the criminal justice system. They lamented the “wasted lives” of continued prohibition, particulary people of color, who are, according to the trio, three times as likely to be charged and convicted of a marijuana offense than a white person.

“We don’t see treating adult marijuana users as criminals as an appropriate use of government resources,” they wrote.

Comments | More in Government, The Blotter | Topics: Election 2012, legalization, marijuana

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