Prosecutors reviewing ways to deal with marijuana cases
Prosecutors in the Tri-Cities are reviewing how they deal with current marijuana cases, after voters legalized pot last week.
The Franklin County Prosecutor says his office is still prosecuting marijuana cases as it always has.
The Benton County Prosecutor says his office is reviewing charges on a case by case basis.
The approval of Iniative 502 allows residents 21 and older to be able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
But there are still many questions left to be answered, because marijuana use is still illegal at the federal level.
So far, county prosecutors in Clark, Pierce and King counties have announced they are dropping misdemeanor marijuana possession cases.
But prosecutors here aren't ready to make that change.
"I think the point of clarification we as prosecutors want to make sure is we're prosecuting and reviewing cases for state law violations, but still there could be conduct that could be deemed criminal by other standards under federal review. So I think there's a lot of things to work out" said Shawn Sant, Franklin County Prosecutor.
"Our policy at this time is to address pending cases on a case by cases basis evaluating criminal history, other possible criminal misconduct at the time, and circumstances of the arrest" said Andy Miller, Benton County Prosecutor.
Sant says it's important to note that even after Initiative 502 goes into effect on December 6th, you could still be cited for a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana.
That's because the cutoff for a misdemeanor charge is being in possession of 40 grams of marijuana.
But an ounce is only 28 grams.