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November 2013 Archives

Search for Marijuana Declared Invalid by Washington Court

Few Washington homeowners would be brave enough to question the authority of the police to enter their home when the police come with an arrest warrant to search for a family member who used to live in the house. As the Grateful Dead once sang in "Truckin":

State Liquor Control Board issues rules for Recreational Marijuana Businesses

Last December, in Initiative 502, Washington voters decided to de-criminalize the possession of marijuana in small amounts by adults. The new law set up three categories of businesses to begin a legal market for the purchase of marijuana in Washington. The state Liquor Control Board was given the task of drafting rules for marijuana related businesses. In October, the LCB recently made its rules public. Cities and counties in Washington are now debating what kinds of zoning restrictions there will be for these new businesses.


Washington's legalization of marijuana for adults (I-502) and the attempt to establish a legal market  is attracting national attention. According to recent press reports, more than 300 applications have already been received by the Liquor Control Board, the state agency charged with responsibility for licensing growers, producers, and retailers. If the number of applications for retail establishments exceeds the allowed number of licenses, there will be a lottery for the retail licenses.

Washington Court upholds ban on firearms possession

On November 21, 2013, in State v. Jorgenson, a 5-4 majority of the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a man's conviction for violating a statute which prohibited the possession of firearms while out on bail on a "serious offense." The category of offenses deemed to be "serious" by this statute ranges widely, from burglary and vehicular assault on the one hand, to more clearly weapons related offenses such as murder, manslaughter and serious assaults on the other hand. Interestingly, the trial judge in the case did not require the surrender of any firearms as a condition of the man's release, even when specifically asked to do so  by the prosecutor.