What do some @SeattlePD officers think of @CityAttyPeteH buying legal marijuana? This was posted at the West Precinct pic.twitter.com/UFKldv4PZ7
— KIRO 7 (@KIRO7Seattle) July 10, 2014
On Thursday, KIRO Radio's Brandi Kruse ran this story about the city attorney buying pot on the first day it was sold legally in Seattle, possibly violating the city's drug-free workplace rules (rules the city must follow to receive federal funding). At first Pete Holmes denied wrongdoing. But today Holmes, who co-sponsored the initiative to legalize pot in 2012 and was at Cannabis City on Tuesday to ballyhoo his victory, says he fucked up when he stored the pot in his office.
Here's the statement his people just sent:
City Attorney's statement on marijuana purchase and City workplace policy
The City of Seattle is a “drug-free workplace” under federal law, and our personnel rules reflect these sound workplace policies. Not only are controlled substances (like marijuana) banned from city offices, City employees cannot possess them while on City business.
So what is the rule when “City business” includes successful drug policy reform – specifically, transition from prohibition to a fully legal, regulated and taxed marijuana supply system? I was elected to drive such reform, and to eradicate the illegal marijuana market. I intended my public purchase at Seattle’s first legal store to bolster the transition.
The workplace rule has not changed, however. When I brought the unopened marijuana to City offices – trying to keep up with a busy schedule — I nonetheless violated the City’s rules. At the end of the business day, I took the marijuana home and left it there, still unopened, before I participated in the second Community Walk of the Mayor’s Summer of Safety.
I have discussed the violation with the City Personnel Department director, and I have volunteered to donate $3,000 to the Downtown Emergency Service Center. I apologize to my employees, all City employees and to the public.
I think we can all agree that this rule is idiotic. It sucks that he has to apologize for doing nothing that hurts anyone. I also think that this story—although I love Brandi Kruse—appears to have the fingerprints of anti-reform SPD officers all over it, officers who have long-hated Holmes for being an accountability watchdog and officers who recently posted this cartoon mocking Holmes as a stoner. If you can stash a bottle of wine in your locker at work to consume when you're done, you should be able to stick some pot in the closet till you're done. But Holmes gotta play by the same rules as other city employees, so it's good that he's owning this. Hopefully his next job is figuring out a way to unchain the City of Seattle from this dumb policy.