Law

Tribal Fishermen
10:21 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Clean Slate For Tribal Fishing Rights Protestors?

Billy Frank, a veteran of the fish wars, Hank Adams, a tribal advocate, and Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe confer in Olympia.
Taylor Winkel

Some 40 to 50 years ago, American Indians in Western Washington were repeatedly arrested during protests over treaty fishing rights.

Now, convicted tribal fishermen may gain the opportunity to clear their records of misdemeanors and felonies from before 1975.

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Open Records
5:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Locking Out Homeless? Seattle Man Wants More Information From City

Outlets in the Armory, formerly the Seattle Center House, are blocked with covers and padlocks.
Paula Wissel

One Seattle man says he’s on a quest to expose why the Seattle Center blocked off use of power outlets in public spaces, and he is arguing his case before the Washington state Appeals Court today.

In September of 2012, Howard Gale noticed Seattle Center staff putting covers and padlocks on all of the electrical outlets, not long after the center had been remodeled and the outlets had been installed. 

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Legal Marijuana
4:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

No Pot-Shop Freeze-Out? Bill Would Ban Moratoriums

In this Dec. 6, 2013 photo, different strains of marijuana are displayed for sale at The Clinic, a Denver-based dispensary with several outlets, in Denver.
Brennan Linsley AP Photo

Some Washington lawmakers concerned about a possible pot-business freeze-out want to keep cities and towns from adopting marijuana-business bans.

Ten representatives in the House on Tuesday introduced a bill that would require cities and counties to cooperate with the state Liquor Control Board in terms of allowing licensed recreational marijuana gardens, processing facilities and stores within their jurisdictions. Local governments would have to treat those enterprises the same as any other business that attempts to locate within their boundaries.

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Legal Marijuana
5:01 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Yakama Tribes Take Pot Stand On Traditional Lands

File image
AP Photo

Leaders of the Yakama Nation in central Washington say they see little benefit to sales or farming of legalized marijuana on their traditional lands. And the tribes are making moves to prevent anyone from operating a pot business on an area that adds up to one-fifth of the state’s land mass.

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Legal Marijuana
1:13 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

State Liquor Board Seeking Formal Opinion On Whether Pot Moratoriums Are Legal

Different strains of pot are displayed for sale at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary in Denver, Friday Dec. 27, 2013.
Brennan Linsley AP Photo

Legal marijuana is expected to go on sale by this spring in Washington cities like Seattle and Spokane.

Some municipalities, including Federal Way, have put moratoriums in place to give officials more time to determine how to implement the new law in their community. But in some cases, the moratoriums are more severe. 

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Marijuana Licenses
10:04 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Wash. State Faces Prospect Of Too Many Pot Growers

File image
AP Photo

Washington state could be facing a curious economic problem: too many pot growers.

More than 2,600 applications have been submitted to produce the marijuana that will be sold at state-licensed stores when Washington's legal marijuana industry opens for business this year.

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Drug Crime
5:26 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

High-Profile Tacoma Pot Activist Booked On Cold Case Drug Murder

One of Schaef's former businesses in Tacoma allowed people to "vape" in a bar setting.
Paula Wissel KPLU

Pierce County law enforcement officials say they’ve cracked a cold case murder that happened more than 20 years ago, and the investigation has ensnared a high-profile Tacoma marijuana activist.

Michael Schaef is a self-styled cannabis consultant who’s run medical marijuana dispensaries and co-founded a Tacoma “vape bar” that operated, until it was shut down, in a gray area of Washington’s pot law.

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Drug Laws
5:00 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Proposal To Make Possession Of Cocaine, Meth A Misdemeanor

FILE - A detective in the Ocean County Prosecutors office sorts out packets of confiscated heroin Wednesday Aug. 7, 2013, in Toms River, N.J.
Mel Evans AP Photo

If you’re caught with cocaine, meth or heroin, you can be charged with a felony and face up to five years in prison. But there’s a proposal in Washington, prefiled HB 2116, to make possession of hard drugs a misdemeanor if they are for the defendant's personal use. It would also reduce the penalty for the possession of more than 40 grams of cannabis from a felony to a misdemeanor.

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DUI Program
5:01 am
Tue December 31, 2013

New Year Brings Sobriety Testing For Repeat Drunk Drivers

File image
LM Otero AP Photo

Repeat drunk drivers in Washington who get arrested in the new year may find themselves ordered to blow into a breathalyzer twice a day. Starting Jan. 1, three counties and two small cities will begin piloting a 24/7 sobriety program modeled after one in South Dakota.

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Law
5:01 am
Fri December 27, 2013

New Wash. Laws: Rioting Gets Name Change, Seahawks Fandom Licensed

November 1999 photo of WTO protests in Seattle.
Isabel Esterman Flickr

 

After Jan. 1, rioting will still be a crime in Washington, but it will get a new name. And Seahawks fans will have a new way to show their loyalty to the team.

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Law
4:49 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

After 10 Years in Jail On A Wrongful Conviction, Seattle Man Is Free

IPNW attorney Fernanda Torres with Brandon Olebar (center) and wife Mely (right)
IPNW

After spending more than 10 years in prison on a wrongful conviction, Brandon Olebar of Seattle is home in time for Christmas.

Olebar had been convicted of robbery and burglary in 2003. The conviction was based on an ID by the victim, his sister's boyfriend, two days after the crime. 

But that identification turned out to be a case of "memory transference."

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Medical Marijuana
1:34 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Liquor Control Board Recommends Limit Of 6 Plants Per Medical Pot Patient

AP Photo

Washington state is looking at a major overhaul of its medical marijuana system, to avoid competition with the recreational market and to avert any crackdowns from the federal government.

The state's Liquor Control Board on Wednesday approved its final recommendations to the Legislature about how it believes the largely unregulated medical system can be brought under the umbrella of Initiative 502.

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Law
5:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Products Complicate Enforcement Of State Smoking Ban

Gerry Broome AP Photo

Nearly a decade has passed since Washington state banned smoking in public areas and workplaces. 

But smoking has evolved since, and that leaves health officials with challenges as they try to enforce a law that didn’t foresee the rise of new products.

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Legal Marijuana
5:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Seed-To-Sale Tracking Alone Won’t Stop Marijuana 'Leakage'

As Washington moves to legalize recreational pot, the U.S. Department of Justice is prioritizing preventing so-called “leakage” to other states like Oregon and Idaho.

Barcodes will help the state track marijuana from seed to sale. But technology alone won’t keep Washington pot in Washington. And some think the concern about leakage is overblown.

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human rights
5:01 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Supporters Rally for Renton Woman Held in Mexican Prison

Grisela Rodriquez, daughter or Nestora Salgado, fights back tears as she speaks at the rally.
Paula Wissel KPLU

Human rights advocates rallied in front of the Mexican consulate in Seattle on Tuesday on behalf of a Renton woman being held in a Mexican prison.

Nestora Salgado, who was the commander of a community police force, was arrested in the Mexican state of Guerrero in August and charged with kidnapping. Her family in the Seattle area say the charges are trumped up in retaliation for her efforts to combat corruption in Mexico.

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