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Shelton Mason County Journal
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August 28, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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August 28, 2014

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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page C-9 Mason County Sheriff's Deputy Justin Cotte adapting to the state's new marijuana law. works the swing shift in 2012. Sheriff's Office Journal file photo deputies are among local law enforcement 00 By NATALIE JOHNSON Officers in Mason County have more time, less red tape s marijuana an "unspeakable scourge," a "frightful assassin of our youth," as it was called in the 1937 movie "Reefer Madness?" The jury may still be out for many people. However, the legalization of recreational Cannabis so far hasn't had much of an effect on law enforcement or criminal justice in Mason County, according to officials. "I don't even think we can say we've seen an increase in marijuana DUIs," Mason County Prosecutor Mike Dorcy said. After a year and a half, law enforcement of- ricers are still in a holding pattern, waiting to see what trends show up in the arrest data over the next few years. "As of yet it hasn't affected our job," said a Mason County Sheriffs Office sergeant involved with the Special Operations Group (SOG), which investigates drug crimes. "A lot of people are waiting to see how this plays out." Despite their impressions, arrests and pros- ecutions for marijuana possession have de- creased in the past year. *** In November 2012, Washington voters ap- proved Initiative 502, legalizing recreational marijuana use in the state. The next month, portions of the new law took effect, making it legal for people age 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of Cannabis. After more than a year and a half, not much has changed for law enforcement, said interim Chief Les Watson of the Shelton Police Depart- ment. "I didn't anticipate there would be signifi- cant changes in our daily operations or the way we work," he said. "We're talking about misde- meanor possession." While it is legal for an adult 21 and older to possess 1 ounce of marijuana, it is still a misde- meanor offense to possess between 1 ounce -- 28.3 grams -- and 40 grams. It is still a felony for an adult to posses more than 40 grams, or 1.4 ounces of marijuana. In 2012, before 1-502 became law, Shelton police arrested 57 adults and 35 juveniles for possession of marijuana. In 2013, they arrested one adult and 23 ju- veniles. The one adult arrest was for an 18-year-old CHOICE Alternative School student, who was caught with 0.8 grams, or 0.02 ounces, of mari- juana in his car during a drug sweep with Ma- son County Sheriffs deputy Sean Dodge and his narcotic sniffing K-9 partner, Kona. The marijuana was logged into evidence and the case was forwarded to the Shelton city pros- ecutor. see page C-10 Marijuana's Ion& strange histor9 Cannabis~'has been used for its medicinal and intoxicating effects throughout recorded human history, but its status as an illegal drug is a fairly recent phenomena. Medical usa Earliest written of marijuana reference to in the Middle marijuana East recorded in Chinese in the anicent pharmacopeia Persian text, the Venidad Persion prophet/philosopher Zorooster Medical Cannabis used in ancient Greece British herbalist Nicholas Culpeper writes about medical uses for hemp CREDITS: Text by www.ProCon.org and Mason County Jourr~l staff Zoroaster photo, forelgnpolicyjoumal.com. Napoleon's forces bring marijuana from Egypt to France Marijuana added to the "United States Pharmacopeia" February: Washington becomes one of the first states to outlaw marijuana Pure Food and Drugs Act requires Sept. 10: First residents of Washington labeling of arrested for possession of marijuana medicine, including under new state law. Cannabis ! .... Massachusetts becomes first state to outlaw Cannabis January: President Woodrow Wilson signs the Harrison Act, the model for future drug regulation legislation Feb. 19." League of Nations signs multilateral treaty restricting Cannabis to scientific and medical use only ~[;i ~~~l|lg i I Igli I I] [ i[ 7 i i: I ~ i [ ~ li li I [11 III l I