This afternoon, Cannabis Defense Coalition director Ben Livingston waited outside the mayor's office, where an executive review board was convening for the first time to talk about how to handle pot cases in the aftermath of Seattle police raiding a medical marijuana patient who had two plants. And when Mayor Mike McGinn stepped out, Livingston handed McGinn a $233.26 invoice for replacing Will Laudanski's door, which was destroyed by the battering ram.
Here's the receipt for a new door and accessories purchased at Lowe's:
"We are requesting reimbursement from the City of Seattle for this expense," Livingston writes in a memo to the mayor. "Replacing Will's damaged door seems a justifiable city expense, especially in light of comments from the Seattle Police Department claiming to have done these repairs themselves."
Reached by phone, Mayor Mike McGinn said, "I appreciated that they came and I personally accepted the invoice. I don’t presume to know what our policy is, but I will be forwarding it on to our folks to take a look at it."
McGinn continued, "I am quite sure that it has to be a very unsettling experience to have one's home broken into by police executing a search warrant. At the same time, we have to acknowledge that our police don’t always receive the greatest clarity and direction in our current laws, nor do the public."
Asked if the lopsided composition of the review board—mostly law enforcement—casts doubt on whether the group will seriously reconsider procedures for armed raids on suspected small grows, McGinn said the group was balanced and had an open mind. The very existence of the executive review and the new city policy of requiring a deputy chief to review all pot search warrants "shows that we have a commitment to changing procedures, if appropriate," McGinn said.
For the first meeting, McGinn says the cops and prosecutors just tried to cover the scope of work and that they'd convene for the real work in about another month. In the meantime, he says he'll be reaching out to experts on marijuana law and legislators, including state senator and medical-marijuana champion Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36). Future meetings—unlike this closed-door meeting—may even be open to the public.
"I was a little surprised by the level of media attention this received," McGinn said.