Seattle asks judge to clear hundreds of past pot convictions

Posted at 7:35 AM, Apr 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-29 09:35:06-04

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has asked a judge to clear past misdemeanor convictions for pot possession.

The city’s motion filed Friday says the court should vacate the convictions because possessing small amounts of marijuana is no longer illegal and to promote fairness and justice.

Holmes and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan previously announced the move in February. But officials said Friday that it took time to ensure that non-citizens would not run into federal immigration problems.

If approved by the court, 542 people would be affected. The convictions date from about 1997— when municipal courts, rather than county district courts, began handling those misdemeanors to 2010 — when Holmes became city attorney and stopped prosecuting low-level pot cases entirely.

Holmes in a statement called it one small step “to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color.”