One of the 'Pro's' offered up by folks in support of I-502(legalizing marijuana) was the revenue generating opportunities of legalized and regulated pot sales. One of the things that was touched on slightly less is the money that could be saved in the courts and the jails by not having to waste time and resources on folks having less than an ounce of marijuana, a misdemeanor under existing laws.
Well, that is the first benefit we are actually going to see from the initiative passing here in Washington, as the prosecutors office in several counties, including King, Pierce and Clark have announced they are dropping charges against everyone who was facing misdemeanor marijuana possession charges.
That's a pretty major step forward...and unusually rapid progress by any level of the government. What interesting is that the counties are moving forward on this, even as Governor Gregoire spent the day back on the east coast talking to senior Justice Department folks about just how the Feds are going to react to the decriminalization of marijuana. What the state would hate do is spend money they don't have on creating a program to regulate the production and sales of marijuana, just to find out The Man is shutting the whole thing down.
All in all, I have to say I'm somewhat pleasently surprised by the State and Counties reaction, especially since Governor Gregoire was against the passing of I-502.