Felony Cannabis Convictions In Wash. Down Significantly Since Legalization
(But that is not complete story)
The sharp drop in felony-level marijuana sentences in Washington is not a surprise to Tom McBride, the executive director of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. In an email, McBride said a decline in prosecutions was “expected” and “desired” by the public.
He added that legalization had also made it more difficult to establish probable cause in delivery to minors or black market cannabis-related cases “because presence, odor, etc. of marijuana can be legal or not.”
Steve Strachan, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, also said the reduction in prosecutions was to be expected. But he added that a de-emphasis on cannabis enforcement, in part because of the rise in heroin and fentanyl cases, was resulting in more black market marijuana grows with ties to organized crime.
“We need to direct more resources to the illicit [cannabis] grows that we are seeing across the state,” Strachan said in an email.
Garbage from Washington state’s booming pot industry clogs gutters, sewers and landfills
By Kristen Millares Young August 14, 2018 SEATTLE — Washington state’s penchant for getting high is trashing the place.
The state requires that landfill-bound harvest leftovers be ground up, mixed with other garbage, bagged and held for days to render it unusable by scavenging smokers. Some rural growers compost their plant waste on site, but Trail Blazin’ Productions is in an urban environment near a methadone clinic. On-site composting is not feasible.
“We keep our garbage in our facility until collection day so the addicts can’t get at it,” Rosellison said. “We grind it up, mix it 50 percent with stuff like our office garbage and pour bleach or contaminant in there, as well.”
When Rosellison first inquired with her local composter, “they didn’t want our waste,” she said. “To some of them, we are selling the devil’s lettuce.”
Many states are studying Washington’s laws to create a safe supply chain. But they, like consumers, are not focused on the combined effect of sending hundreds of millions of plastic tubes and Mylar bags into landfills every year. What’s more, many consumers mistakenly try to recycle that packaging.
“We have all these materials coming online that are not recyclable, and they’re causing contamination in the recycling system,” Trim said.