The Seattle Police Department e-mailed more than 1,300 of its officers the following message tonight: “Until further notice, officers shall not take any enforcement action — other than to issue a verbal warning — for a violation of I-502.”
So basically, feel free to smoke marijuana publicly in the City of Seattle for at least the next 30 days, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee wrote in an SPD Blotter post today.
Even though the state’s new marijuana law, which takes effect Thursday, prohibits things like smoking in public and possessing more than an ounce of marijuana buds, Seattle police will not take enforcement action against anyone violating the law.
The police department isn’t allowing the grace period just to let people celebrate the new law whenever and however they want. According to Spangenthal-Lee’s post, there’s a gray area in the law that makes it difficult for police to enforce it. State and city codes don’t specify clearly how to deal with provisions of I-502 that prohibit the public use of marijuana.
It would take at least 30 days for legislation that would make enforcement more clear to go into effect, according to the post.
“In the meantime, in keeping with the spirit of I-502, the department’s going to give you a generous grace period to help you adjust to this brave, new, and maybe kinda stoned world we live in,” Spangenthal-Lee wrote.