Sensible Washington block my Stranger article
  • Sensible Washington blocks my Stranger article

Last week I wrote an article asking whether two people can possess two ounces of pot, or whether that would put each of them over the state's one-ounce limit (after Hempfest leaders evicted an attendee who wanted to roll a large communal joint.)

At the same time, a group called Sensible Washington launched a legislative campaign to make possession of 40 or more grams of pot a misdemeanor in the state. Currently, possession of over 40 grams is a felony. The organization recently posted this on its Facebook page:

In our state, if two adults both possess an ounce of cannabis, and drive in the same car together, they can both be hit with a felony charge for the "constructive possession" of two ounces, given that over 40 grams of cannabis is still a felony. Defelonization will help to fix this, by removing felony charges for the possession of any amount of cannabis, as long as it's not intended for distribution!

In response, Pierce County NORML Director Keith Henson posted my article, saying Sensible Washington's statements seem to contradict what I reported:

This contention seems to be in direct contradiction to the article recently published in The Stranger. In that article it says that for constructive possession to allow for one to be charged for another's marijuana, one must "exert control" over that marijuana, either physically—holding it—or by having final say over what happens to it. So if two adults had two separate bags, one on each person, it would seem that they would be in compliance with I-502. Is that article mistaken or am I reading it incorrectly?

Without any response, Sensible Washington blocked Henson's post. Apparently, the article did not comport with their public messaging about how two people possessing two separate ounces in a single car will be felons if caught. I contacted Sensible Washington via email and their Facebook page, and left a voicemail for spokesman Anthony Martinelli, and will relay any response they provide.

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