Seattle police giving 'admonishment letters' to pot dealers

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by LORI MATSUKAWA / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 2 at 7:54 PM

SEATTLE -- You could call it "enforcement light."  Since voters approved I-502 allowing recreational use of marijuana, Seattle police have changed their policies to make pot cases a low priority.  Still, business owners, students and residents in the University District complained about all the drug dealing in their neighborhood.

So in the spirit of I-502, the Seattle Police Department is giving pot dealers an admonishment letter, warning them not to deal marijuana in the University District, specifically University Way and the area bounded by 15th Ave. NE, Brooklyn Ave. NE from NE 45th to NE 50th St.

If the dealer is caught selling pot again, in the University District or anywhere in Seattle, off to jail they go and charges are filed.  Those caught selling harder drugs or with a violent criminal past are not given a warning and simply go to jail.

"The admonishment letter is reasonable because we are not restricting their freedom to go anywhere," said Narcotics Lieutenant Mike Kebba on the SPD Blotter. "SPD will just be requiring them to comply with the law while in public places and refrain from drug dealing."

The letter politely asks folks' "cooperation in this matter. " The statute of limitations is three years. And remember, even under the new initiative, it's still illegal to sell or use pot in public.

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