George Pfromm II
By passing I-75, the initiative making marijuana possession Seattle cops' "lowest law-enforcement priority," in September, voters handed potheads a pass to indulge in their favorite illicit substance without police interference. Starting in September, Seattle cops were ordered to ignore small-time possession and only arrest dope fiends dumb enough to flaunt their pot use in public.

By all evidence, Seattle's streets have not--contrary to some I-75 opponents' claims--been overrun with zonked-out hippies in VW buses veering, bong in hand, into oncoming traffic. In fact, since the initiative passed in September, just nine pot busts have gone to City Attorney Tom Carr's office for prosecution. Which raises the inevitable question: Just how dumb do you have to be to get arrested for pot in post-I-75 Seattle? Four of Seattle's stupidest potheads--either prosecuted or busted post-I-75-- provide answers and a few cautionary lessons.

Lesson 1: If you're going to sell pot-laced goodies, don't do it in front of the SPD.

An SPD sergeant was strolling through Myrtle Edwards Park when he noticed a young man distributing suspiciously green-tinted Rice Krispies treats from a plastic container. Upon investigating the man's knapsack, the sergeant found several containers filled with pot-laced cookies, Rice Krispies bars, and a "suspected bud of marijuana." As an exasperated Carr notes: "What's he going to do? There was a crime being committed right in front of him!" The suspect, who had a DJ gig to get to, was arrested and later released.

Lesson 2: Don't turn your car into a roving drug market.

Late one night in the 2000 block of East Denny Way, cops came upon a late-model Oldsmobile parked in the middle of the street with a small crowd attempting to approach it. When the officers put on their sirens, the suspect abandoned his car, ignoring the officers' order to stop. When officers finally apprehended the suspect, they confiscated nine Ziploc baggies full of pot--a violation of the suspect's state prison parole.

Lesson 3: Don't be a gang member. Having a record (or outstanding warrant) dramatically ups your chances of being booked, especially if you do something suspicious--like, say, running and hiding on a porch. One such suspect, a known gang member who was initially found drinking a can of Steel Reserve on Rainier Avenue South, did exactly that. She was caught and arrested for drinking in public. Once she was in the back seat of the patrol car, the gang member began making "furtive, digging movements" in the back of her pants, which led to a strip search and the recovery of about $20 worth of pot.

Lesson 4: Don't try to sneak drugs into jail. The award for Seattle's dumbest pot smoker goes to the woman who tried to visit a friend in county jail, with pot in her backpack. This story came straight from an incredulous Carr, who says the visitor tried to sneak through security with a bag of weed. Officers, who search all bags going into the jail, noticed the smell of marijuana wafting from the wo- man's backpack, and quickly found the pot that was producing the telltale odor.

barnett@thestranger.com