Target: Sally J. Clark, Seattle City Council President
Goal: Support reasonable fine for public marijuana usage
Due largely to fear- based thinking, a lot of misinformation has been spread about marijuana. The substance is still banned in many places, even though it has proven have medicinal benefits. It is only recently that a few states have decriminalized this drug. This kind of progress raises new questions: What is the legal blood limit for driving? How should the police respond to those who smoke illegally in public?
Before it was decriminalized, marijuana was treated similarly to hard drugs. No one was legally allowed to possess it, even for personal recreation. In truth, however, marijuana is similar to alcohol–both in its effects and how people who use it in public should be treated.
The Seattle City Council recently adopted legislation that would make smoking marijuana in public an offense that could land someone a $27 ticket. Furthermore, local police are allowed to use their discretion when issuing warnings instead of financial citations.
After decades of lawmakers treating marijuana like it was a far more dangerous drug, this reasonably priced ticket is long overdue. Thank the Seattle City Council for setting such a great example for the rest of the nation by keeping its response to public marijuana usage proportionally appropriate to the drug.
Dear Seattle City Council President Sally J. Clark,
Recently the Seattle City Council voted to allow police to issue $27 citations to people who are caught smoking marijuana in public. After a long history of marijuana being treated similarly to hard drugs, the low price of this ticket is a welcome relief. $27 is the same amount that a person drinking a beer in public would receive. Since marijuana is more similar to alcohol than any other drug in terms of its dangerousness for users and/or others, the Seattle City Council’s decision to keep the citation fee low is an excellent decision.
Furthermore, the Seattle City Council’s decision to allow police to issue warnings instead of citations when and where they deem appropriate is also a great decision. Marijuana is not a danger to society. In the wake of the recent decriminalization of marijuana, many users might be a little enthusiastic about their new-found freedom. Giving police the chance to gently warn users to be more discrete in their enjoyment of this drug is the best solution for everyone involved.
By working to make the public a safer place through the use of inexpensive citations and educational communication between police and citizens, the Seattle City Council is proving its commitment to making Seattle a great place and a wonderful model for other cities throughout our nation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chmee2 via Wikimedia