Law

Psychiatric Care
3:17 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Lawyer For Psychiatric Patients Says State Had Time To Prepare For Boarding Ruling

File image
Taber Andrew Bain Flickr

The state of Washington doesn’t deserve extra time to start following mental health laws, according to the lawyer representing psychiatric patients who successfully challenged a practice known as “boarding.”

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Pot Moratorium
2:01 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Citing State Law, Judge Upholds Fife's Pot Ban; No Comment On Federal Preemption

FILE - This July 1, 2014, photo shows marijuana plants in containers at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The city of Fife’s ban on recreational marijuana will stand, following a ruling by a Pierce County judge Friday.

Judge Ronald Culpepper said local jurisdictions have the right to opt out of marijuana legalization under state law. He added the pot shop owners who brought the suit did not meet the burden of proof necessary to overturn the ban in Fife.

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Pot Moratorium
3:26 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Legal Spat Over Pot Shops In Tiny Fife Imperils Washington's Whole Marijuana Law

FILE - Clerk Havilah Nokes arranges packets of marijuana for sale at Cannabis City on the first day of legal recreational pot sales Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

A court case in Pierce County Friday will decide whether the city of Fife can ban marijuana businesses. But it could have a much larger side effect, putting Washington’s entire system for regulating legal pot in peril.

A handful of pot businesses are challenging Fife’s right to keep them out. The city is presenting two defenses. First, city officials say state law lets them opt out — a point on which they have backing from Washington’s attorney general. But if that fails, they have a second argument, which raises the stakes considerably: They say federal law trumps Initiative 502, and should strike most of it down.

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Sex Trafficking
5:05 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Buyers Of Underage Sex Get Little Jail Time, New Study Shows

Arizona State University/Shared Hope International

Men who are convicted of paying for sex with minors are unlikely to serve much time behind bars, says the finding of new research conducted by Arizona State University and released by Shared Hope International, an organization trying to stop sex trafficking.

The study examined 134 cases in Seattle, Phoenix, Portland and Baltimore-Washington, D.C.

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Psychiatric Care
4:44 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Puts Hospital Boarding Decision On Hold

File image
Taber Andrew Bain Flickr

The state of Washington will not have to start discharging severely mentally-ill patients starting this week. The Supreme Court on Monday put a hold on a recent ruling that says it’s illegal for the state to “board” psychiatric patients in non-psychiatric hospital beds.

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Voting Rights
1:32 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Federal Judge: Yakima Election System Disenfranchises Latino Voters

FILE - More than four in 10 residents in Yakima are Hispanic, but Sonia Rodriguez True still lost her race for city council in 2009.
Austin Jenkins

A federal judge has ruled that the way city council members are elected in Yakima, Washington disenfranchises Latino voters.

Last week’s surprising ruling comes exactly two years after the ACLU filed a federal Voting Rights Act lawsuit against the city.

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Legal Marijuana
10:59 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

In Oregon, Marijuana Dispensary Leads To Small Town Political Showdown

Brie Malarkey owns Breeze Botanicals in Gold Hill, Oregon.
Chris Lehman

The town of Gold Hill, Oregon is in turmoil. Two-thirds of its city council is the subject of a recall election come Monday.

What has some of the 1,200 residents of Gold Hill so riled up? The targeted city leaders had voted to approve a medical marijuana dispensary.

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Growing Marijuana
10:27 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Amid Legal Pot, Search Continues For Illegal Grows

This July 1, 2014, photo shows marijuana plants in containers at Sea of Green Farms, a recreational pot grower in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Legal marijuana grows are just getting started in Washington. But it’s the illegal ones that local, state and federal agents are searching out this month. It’s the annual summer marijuana eradication program.

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DNA Evidence
10:02 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Sets Standard For Post-Conviction DNA Testing

File image
Rogelio V. Solis AP Photo

Washington’s Supreme Court may have just made it easier for prison inmates to try to get their convictions overturned through DNA testing. In a 6-to-3 ruling Thursday, the high court said inmates don’t have to show they’re likely innocent in order to win a post-conviction DNA test.

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Law
4:22 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GAO Finds Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Broke Federal Law

File image
AP Photo

The Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five members of the Taliban for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho, according to the findings of an independent government investigation released Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office says officials should have given Congress 30 days' notice.

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Constitutional Rights
3:51 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Following Judge's Ruling, Changes On The Way For No-Fly List

File image
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Changes are coming to the federal government's no-fly list, but it’s not yet clear what those changes will be.

It all stems from a ruling this summer by a federal judge in Portland. One of the plaintiffs was turned away from a flight after an airline agent said he was on the no-fly list. The man sued after he couldn't even get the government to confirm whether he was on the list, much less why.

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Legal Marijuana
4:09 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Wash. Attorney General: If You Like Legal Marijuana, Support Local Pot Bans

In this photo taken July 1, 2014, a one-gram packet of a variety of recreational marijuana named "Space Needle" is shown during packaging operations at Sea of Green Farms in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has intervened in a lawsuit over whether local governments can keep marijuana businesses out. Ferguson says if you want pot to stay legal in Washington, you should want cities to be allowed to ban it.  

The city of Fife, like many others around Washington, has said it won’t allow pot businesses within city limits. A couple of would-be entrepreneurs sued the city to overturn the ban.

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Marijuana Legalization
4:13 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Oregon's Pot Legalization Supporters Kick Off Ad Campaign

Richard Harris is seen this screen grab from an online ad by Oregon's Yes on 91 campaign.

The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon kicked off a multi-million dollar advertising effort Monday.

New Approach Oregon appears to be following the same tactic used by the successful legalization effort in Washington state. The strategy seems to be that if you want to legalize pot, find someone like Richard Harris to make your case. He's the former director of Addictions and Mental Health Services for the state of Oregon.

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Law
2:02 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Police Ask Public To 'Tweet Smart' During Ongoing Crises

In this instance, officers had already announced their presence over a loudspeaker. But authorities caution against giving too much real-time info when officers are responding to an emergency.
Ed Ronco KPLU

Local law enforcement agencies are asking the public to “Tweet Smart” and be careful how they use social media in an emergency. Their concern is that too much information about the real-time movements of police could put officers in danger. 

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Washington Supreme Court
12:54 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Legislature's Pension Cuts Were Legal, Wash. High Court Rules

Washington Supreme Court justices listen to arguments during a court hearing.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington state lawmakers acted legally when they cut pension benefits for teachers and other public employees in 2007 and 2011, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The two rulings, both reversing lower court decisions, carried high stakes for both sides. The pension cuts the high court upheld could save the state more than $10 billion over the next 25 years; an opposite ruling would've forced the Legislature to come up with that money.

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