Sunday, December 28, 2014

Marijuana Use Increased

Colorado emerged as the state with the second-highest percentage of regular marijuana users as it began legalizing the drug, according to a new national study.

The Denver Post reports the study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found about 1 out of 8 Colorado residents older than 12 had used marijuana in the past month. Only Rhode Island topped Colorado in the percentage of residents who reported using pot as often, according to the study.

The study averaged state-specific data over two-year periods. It found that, for the 2011-2012 period, 10.4 percent of Colorado residents 12 and older said they had used pot in the month before being surveyed. That number jumped to 12.7 percent in the 2012-2013 data. That means about 530,000 people in Colorado use marijuana at least once a month, according to the results.

Nationally, about 7.4 percent of people 12 and older reported monthly marijuana use. That's an increase of about 4 percent.

In Washington state, which also legalized marijuana use and limited possession for adults, monthly pot use rose about 20 percent to 12.3 percent of people 12 and older.

The survey is among the first to quantify pot use in Colorado since late 2012, when voters approved legal pot use and possession for those over 21. But the survey did not analyze data from 2014, when recreational marijuana shops opened, which means it is not a good indication of the effect of commercial sales on marijuana use.

"I don't think this tells us about the long-term impacts of legalization," said University of California, Los Angeles, professor Mark Kleiman, who studies marijuana policy. The number of medical marijuana patients in Colorado rose over the same time period, so the results are not surprising, Kleiman said.

He told The Post that researchers will have a better idea about pot use in the first state to legalize recreational sales of the drug once they can focus on data showing how many people use pot daily.

"The fraction of people who are monthly users who are in fact daily users has gone way, way up," he said.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Puyallup Jail Allowed to Film Inmates Using Bathroom


The City of Puyallup did not violate anyone's right to privacy when jail staff filmed inmates in various states of undress, according to a Thursday US District Court verdict.

Last year 12 people -- mostly women -- argued their constitutional right to privacy was violated when jailhouse video captured them undressing or using the bathroom.
 
The videos were all recorded inside the Puyallup Jail. Each of the 12 was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges, and all of them were captured on camera inside one of two holding cells.  The video recorded them either urinating or changing into jail house clothing.

Since the lawsuit was filed last year, there has been a significant change in jail policy. Puyallup Jail stopped recording video in those holding cells, citing too many public disclosure requests for the videos.

Puyallup police say while they no longer record and store video inside the holding cells, cameras are still being used to record video in other areas of the jail.


Eleven women and one man say what they thought were private moments, were not. On Thursday a jury disagreed, saying the city was within its rights to film the inmates.



If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Cowlitz Indian Tribe

A federal judge has sided with the Cowlitz Indian tribe in its long fight to establish a reservation and build a casino along Interstate 5 in southwest Washington.

U.S. District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein in Washington, D.C., on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who had challenged a federal government decision to put into trust for the tribe about 152 acres west of La Center in Clark County and to allow gambling on that land, the Columbian reported.

The tribe of southwest Washington, which has about 3,500 members but no land of its own, plans to develop the property into tribal offices, housing, a tribal center as well as a massive casino-resort complex with a roughly 134,000-square-foot casino.

Plaintiffs who challenged the federal government's decisions questioned the Cowlitz tribe's historical ties to the area west of Interstate 5, the newspaper reported.

The tribal offices are 24 miles north of the site, and plaintiffs argued that the Cowlitz tribe just wanted their reservation to be an easy 16-mile drive from Portland to attract casino customers in that area.

The plaintiffs include the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, which owns and operates a casino that would compete with any future casino built on the land.

Others who sued include Clark County and the city of Vancouver, property owners and card room businesses. The plaintiffs include a group called Citizens Against Reservation Shopping, which includes The Columbian's publisher, Scott Campbell.

They argued that the federal government violated the law in issuing its decision to put the land into trust and to allow gambling on that land.

The Grand Ronde tribe on Friday said it needs to analyze the judge's opinion but it disagrees.

Officials with Vancouver and Clark County said Friday that they needed more time to review the judge's opinion before deciding whether to appeal.

The federal government recognized the Cowlitz tribe in 2000. That ruling was challenged and affirmed in 2002, and the tribe applied to take the land into trust.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a decision in 2010 that was challenged. A federal judge told the agency to rescind that 2010 decision and issue a new one, which was also challenged.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

State Patrol Upgrades DUI Breath-Test Machines


The Washington State Patrol is replacing its old breath-test machines with sleek, fast, new $9,500 devices that are used to test drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The State Patrol will be placing 83 of the new Dräger Alcotest 9510 machines in police and sheriff’s stations, jails and State Patrol divisions in northeast and southeast Washington before enough are available to use statewide.The machines will be used to test drivers arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Like the old devices, the new one measures alcohol in the lungs by analyzing exhaled breath.
“It’s a measure in the breath-alcohol concentration and if it’s at or above 0.08 it can be used as evidence of DUI,” said State Patrol Lt. Rob Sharpe, who heads the agency’s Impaired Driving Section.
Sharpe said they have purchased the breath-test “instruments” at $9,500 each, and need to purchase 200 more to replace the old DataMasters devices.

Sharpe said that after learning about five years ago that manufacture of the DataMaster machines was coming to an end, the State Patrol launched a search for a suitable replacement.
He said they looked at four different machines before deciding on the Dräger Alcotest 9510.

According to the Dräger website, the machine is only used by law enforcement.
Brian Shaffer, bid and tender manager for Dräger, said in an email that law-enforcement agencies in New York, Connecticut, California and Washington, D.C., are using the Alcotest 9510. Demonstrating the Alcotest machine inside the State Patrol’s South Seattle office, Sterkel swiped his breath-test operator card on the machine’s card reader to begin the testing process. Then he swiped a test state driver’s license on the card reader to download the driver’s information.

On the touch-screen readout, Sterkel was asked where the suspect had been drinking, whether the driver had put anything in his or her mouth after being arrested, what crime the person was suspected of and whether the driver was involved in a DUI-related crash.

Then a prompt indicated it was time for the subject to blow into a hose attached to the machine. The screen lit up and gave instructions on when to blow and whether the sample was successfully captured.
In a matter of minutes Sterkel’s breath test came back clear of alcohol.

While the new machine allows law enforcement to send real-time data over the Internet, Sharpe said the State Patrol will not begin using this feature until security protocols are established on sending the information.

The State Patrol says the new machines utilize a dry gas standard instead of a liquid solution to verify that the instrument is working properly. For years, liquid solutions have had to be mixed locally by scientists, monitored for temperature, and checked regularly by technicians.

The Dräger’s dry gas contains a known concentration of alcohol, allowing the instrument to verify that a suspect’s breath alcohol is being measured accurately and reliably, the State Patrol said.
Sterkel, who works in the State Patrol’s Yakima office, is one of the first troopers in the state to be trained on the new machine.

Only troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police officers certified in the Alcotest will be allowed to use the machines.

Until the state replaces all of the DataMasters, law enforcement will continue using the old technology to test suspected drunken drivers, Sharpe said.

The State Patrol has come under heat in the past for using the DataMaster machines, as well for as their DUI protocols.

In 2008, three King County District Court judges issued a blistering 29-page ruling, saying that the lab engaged in “fraudulent and scientifically unacceptable” practices that have compromised breath-test readings used to prosecute suspected drunken drivers.

The judges found that a “multiplicity of errors,” including how breath-test results were analyzed and verified at the lab, affected thousands of cases in recent years.

Specifically, the judges criticized the work of the former state toxicologist and the former lab manager. The allegations included errors to the way the breath-test machines were calibrated.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

86 Year Old Drinks Brandy for Cough

An 86-year-old man who caused a three-car crash while driving the wrong way down I-5 November 24, 2014 admitted to drinking brandy beforehand to help with a cough, according to charges filed in Pierce County Superior Court.
 
According to the Washington State Patrol, Panos Palas of University Place was driving north on southbound I-5 near the Tacoma Dome around 10:30 p.m. when he hit a minivan before crashing head on into another car.
 
According to the charging documents, the minivan was only lightly damaged, but one of the three passengers in the second car suffered a broken leg. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.
 
When deputies contacted Palas inside his Toyota Rav4, they could smell alcohol on his breath and he spoke with a slur, according to the charging documents. He reportedly told deputies he had been driving from Auburn and gotten turned around in the construction area.
 
Despite denying having anything to drink, Palas blew a BAC of 0.123, according to the charging documents. He later reportedly admitted to drinking brandy because he had a cough and the liquor helped with his medicine.
 
Palas was booked into Pierce County Jail following the incident. He was charged with vehicular assault the following Wednesday.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pot Sellers Preparing for the Holidays

From new marijuana strains for the holidays to gift sets and pot-and-pumpkin pies, the marijuana industry in Colorado is scrambling to get a piece of the holiday shopping dollar. Dispensaries in many states have been offering holiday specials for medical customers for years - but this first season of open-to-all-adults marijuana sales in some states means pot shops are using more of the tricks used by traditional retailers to attract holiday shoppers.

Here's a look at how the new recreational marijuana industry is trying to attract holiday shoppers:

OLD-FASHIONED DOORBUSTERS

Traditional retailers sell some items below cost to drive traffic and attract sales. Recreational marijuana retailers are doing the same.

The Grass Station in Denver is selling an ounce of marijuana for $50 - about a fifth of the cost of the next-cheapest strain at the Colorado dispensary - to the first 16 customers in line Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That works out to less than $1 a joint for the ambitious early-rising pot shopper. Owner Ryan Fox says his Black Friday pot is decent quality, and says he's selling below cost to attract attention and pick up some new customers. As Colorado dispensaries approach a year of being able to sell weed to all adults over 21, not just card-carrying medical patients, Fox says retailers have to do more than just sell pot to get public attention.

Pot shops are using old and new media to tout the sales. One dispensary is taking out a full-page "Happy Danksgiving" ad in The Denver Post and is inviting shoppers to text a code for extra savings.

VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS

Sweets and marijuana seem to go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. Many dispensaries this time of year resemble a Starbucks at the mall, with holiday spices and festive music in the air. One of the state's largest edible-pot makers, Sweet Grass Kitchen, debuted a new miniature pumpkin pie that delivers about as much punch as a medium-sized joint. The pie joins holiday-spiced teas, minty pot confections and cannabis-infused honey oil for those who want to bake their own pot goodies at home. Even some edibles makers that specialize in savory foods, not sweets, are putting out some sugary items for the holidays.

HOLIDAY STRAINS

Some shops are angling for high-end holiday shoppers, not an increase in foot traffic. Colorado Harvest and Evergreen Apothecary timed the release of some top-shelf strains of potent pot for the holiday season.

GIFT WRAPPING

What holiday shopper doesn't appreciate free gift wrapping? Or a gift set ready to pop under the tree? The Growing Kitchen is making $49.99 gift sets for both the medical and recreational pot user. The sets include the edible-pot maker's new Mighty Mint cookie, a pot-infused confection new for the holiday shopping season, along with marijuana-infused salves for muscles sore from the ski slopes. Other dispensaries are offering free gift totes and stockings with purchases.

GIFT CARDS

For the shopper who wants to give pot but doesn't know how the recipient likes to get high, Colorado's 300 or so recreational dispensaries so far have been able to issue only handwritten gift certificates. That's because banking regulations prohibit major credit cards companies from being able to back marijuana-related gift cards the way they do for other retailers.

Just this month, a Colorado company started offering pot shops a branded gift card they can sell just like other retailers. The cards are in eight Denver dispensaries so far, and coming soon will be loyalty cards similar to grocery-store loyalty cards that track purchases and can be used to suggest sales or new products to frequent shoppers.

CANNAGIFTS FOR THE MAIL

Just because marijuana can't legally leave Colorado doesn't mean dispensaries don't have items for out-of-state friends and family. Some dispensaries are highlighting some non-cannabis gift items - things like T-shirts, rolling papers and lotions made with legal herbs. The sets are for shoppers who want to give a taste of Colorado's new marijuana industry without breaking federal law by mailing it or taking it out of state.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

WA State's First Marijuana Auction Brings in $600,000

Washington state's first marijuana auction brought in about $600,000. Fireweed Farms of Prosser sold about 300 pounds of pot to state-licensed processors and retailers Saturday.

Bidding took place under a black tent fronted by tall heaters, and the event was monitored by at least two representatives of the Washington Liquor Control Board. Bidders could smell plastic bags of buds before offering a bid.

The marijuana was planted in May and harvested between late September and mid-October. Fireweed Farms owner Randy Williams had sold some of his marijuana to recreational processors earlier this year, but the auction represented the bulk of his harvest.

He said he held the auction to "get rid of it all quick" so he could spend time with his grandson instead of packaging marijuana. The harvested and dried marijuana was priced by the gram and auctioned by the strain in lots ranging from about half a pound to five pounds.

Williams said he planned to donate proceeds from three lots, totaling $14,000, to local schools.

Lt. Jeremy Wissing, an officer with the state Liquor Control Board who monitored a portion of Saturday's auction, said it appeared to be well run.

"I'm seeing a well-organized event," Wissing said outside the Fireweed Farms grow area. "It isn't a circus. I'm not seeing open consumption of marijuana."

Williams initially hoped to make $1 million through the marijuana fire sale, but said during the auction that he'd be happy with $600,000 or $700,000.

The purchased marijuana was to remain under video-monitored quarantine at Fireweed Farms overnight Saturday, Wissing said. Buyers could either retrieve their marijuana Sunday or arrange for it to be delivered to their business by Williams.

Although Saturday's auction was the state's first, Wissing doesn't expect it to be the last.

"It's just a different way of moving his product," Wissing said.

Interest in the marijuana auction was so intense that Williams commissioned the use of a parking lot across the street from his property to accommodate the visitors.

Buyers were provided with a detailed list of strains and lot sizes that provided a complete potency profile, labeling requirements and the date the batch was tested by Confidence Analytics, a state-certified laboratory. The auction attracted about three dozen potential buyers from across the state.

Nazareth Victoria, a 50-year-old licensed marijuana processor from Seattle, left empty-handed. He came because he was interested in seeing what was available, but ultimately wasn't sure about the quality, he said.

"I was just interested in the whole process," Victoria said. "To me, smoking the product is the ultimate test to tell you the quality." Sampling the product was strictly forbidden Saturday.
 
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Flightcar Lets Travelers Park for Free Except DUI Defendants

Travelers planning on leaving their cars at Sea-Tac Airport can park without paying at a lot on International Blvd.  if they're willing to let Flightcar rent their vehicle to incoming travelers.

"While you're on your trip, you'll actually get notifications so you know what's happening with your car," said Flightcar co-founder and president Kevin Petrovic. "You know whether someone rented it."

The 20-year-old Petrovic isn't old enough to rent a car at most agencies. He left Princeton to launch his peer-to-peer car sharing company and says he's yet to make a profit.

But people parking can save money and make money. Vacationers park for free and get a car wash at no cost, even if nobody ends up renting their vehicle. Car owners get reimbursed up 5 to 20 cents a mile depending on their car model.

"Because we use other people's cars and don't use our own cars, we're actually able to offer a little bit of a lower price," Petrovic said.

He also said Flightcar screens the driving history of every renter. People with DUI's or more than 2 minor violations in the last two years aren't eligible.

If the car is scratched, wrecked, or stolen, Flightcar covers it. The startup takes out a million dollar liability and full collision on each car.

Some Sea-Tac travelers expressed reservations about letting a stranger behind their wheel.

Flightcar is new to Seattle but already has locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pot Advocates Look to California Next

Marijuana advocates, fresh off victories for legal recreational pot in Oregon, Alaska and the nation's capital, are already preparing for their next target, and it's a big one: California.

They are aiming to ask voters in the nation's largest state to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2016, hoping to draw on a more liberal and larger electorate during a presidential election to help them avoid a repeat of their 2010 failed pot measure.

The victories in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia came in a midterm election that saw a low turnout and a conservative electorate hand Republicans back control of the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2006.

The results emboldened them - even from a loss in Florida, where a medical marijuana proposal earned 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent required to pass.

The pot votes were considered by many to be the first real test of marijuana reform's popularity since Washington state and Colorado passed the nation's first legal pot laws in 2012, boosted then by the higher turnout among young people typical of presidential election years.

After the wins in Colorado and Washington, a coalition of activists considered rushing a tax-and-regulate measure to this year's ballot in California. Their polling showed solid support, but they remained chastened by 2010, when a legalization proposal there polled well but fell short.

Early this year, given the huge expense of a serious statewide campaign in California, they opted for what they considered a safer bet: waiting until the presidential election year in 2016, with its anticipated bumper crop of younger voters.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which was heavily involved in Colorado's campaign, has formed a committee to begin fundraising in California, where it again plans to urge voters to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Activists also hope to bring legal pot to Massachusetts, Maine and other states.

Tuesday saw voters in the District of Columbia approving the possession of up to two ounces of pot and up to three mature marijuana plants for personal use, but the proposal did not provide for the legal sale of marijuana. That's left up to the D.C. Council.

The measures in Oregon and Alaska follow Colorado and Washington state in setting up regulation and taxation systems.

Advocates, opponents and the U.S. government have closely watched Washington and Colorado to gauge the impact on the black market, drug use among teens and impaired driving, among other areas.

In both states, adults over 21 can purchase marijuana, including potent extracts and edibles, at state-licensed dispensaries.

Colorado is on track to bring in about $84 million this year from medical and recreational pot taxes and fees. In Washington, where recreational pot sales began in July, the tax collections have totaled more than $7 million.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Former Seahawks Player Arrested Again for DUI


Former Seahawk running back Spencer Ware was arrested on suspicion of DUI again on September 2, 2014  in Maple Valley. Court records show he was booked into jail in Kent at 3:21 a.m. the morning of September 2, 2014 The case had been referred to the Maple Valley prosecutor’s office for filing of charges.

It is the second DUI arrest in nine months for Ware as he was also cited on Jan. 12. However, that case was dismissed in July after a judge ruled that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion of DUI at the time he initiated the traffic stop. The judge suppressed all of the evidence gathered thereafter, including the BAC test, and dismissed the case.

Ware, a sixth-round pick in 2013 out of LSU, played in two games for the Seahawks last season before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. He was eventually placed on Injured Reserve.

Ware was released by the Seahawks just a few days before he was arrested when the team cut its roster from 75 to the regular season maximum of 53. He has yet to be picked up by another team.
Ware rushed for 51 yards on 15 carries in the preseason for the Seahawks.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Daylight DUI Arrests on the Rise

The Washington State Patrol is warning motorists to be on the lookout for drunk drivers after a series of daylight DUI arrests in recent days.

The most recent case came Tuesday morning when a woman was pulled over in Olympia and found with a blood-alcohol level of more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent.

Trooper Guy Gill said a state trooper was heading across the Custer Avenue bridge over Interstate 5 on his way to a new assignment when he spotted a car heading down the street with its driver's side scraping along against the concrete barrier.

The trooper turned on his flashers and the car came to a stop. He walked up to the car and the woman behind the wheel was surprised to see him because she thought her car was still moving.

"The driver actually thought the vehicle was still rolling, so she was highly intoxicated," Gill said. Her breath test revealed that she was well over three times the legal limit.

"And this was not even 11 oclock in the morning," he said. "So you can see she had no business even remotely close to being behind the wheel of a vehicle, and that was very obvious to the trooper when he made contact with that driver."

Gill said troopers have arrested eight drivers for DUI during daylight hours in Olympia alone over the past two weeks.

"DUI is not just a nighttime issue. It is a 24/7 problem and we're always encouraging motorists to call in if they see someone who could be an impaired driver," he said.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bigger Harvest Could Lower Washington Legal Marijuana Prices

Slowly and in beat with the rhythms of agriculture, licensed producers are growing enough pot that retailers hope to eventually lower prices enough to diminish the black market, one of the major justifications for Initiative 502, passed by state voters nearly two years ago.

So far, legal marijuana store owners admit legalizing and licensing marijuana has done little to combat street sales, where unscrupulous dealers don't test their products, pay taxes or check the age of their customers.

Statistics for 2014 are not out yet, but there's an increase this year in illegal grows on tribal lands, public lands and in backyards, said Jodie Underwood, a spokeswoman the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's regional office in Seattle.

Just last Monday, authorities seized 20 pounds of processed marijuana and 43 plants in Zillah. The same day, police arrested two men they accuse of stealing medical marijuana from a home in Selah.

Currently, Yakima Valley retailers pay wholesale producers from $8 to $15 per gram, about the same range as the street value of the untaxed, illicit version that runs anywhere from $10 to $20 per gram depending on quality. Medical marijuana, often sold illegally, runs between $10 to $12 per gram, retailers say.

Store owners then charge between $25 to $40 to cover their operating expenses and taxes. The state charges a 25 percent excise tax on all retail sales, while the federal government, which still considers marijuana against the law, charges store owners income tax but allows no deductions.

The math often works out to a net gain of less than 5 percent from which retailers must pay rent, utilities, wages and their monthly bills for their startup loans.

However, things have improved and will keep improving, some retailers promise. At least stores can keep their doors open now.

Up until this fall, most of the state's marijuana has come from more indoor growers, who have much higher electric bills than Eastern Washington's sunlight farmers.

Marijuana business owners predict the extra supply from the sun-grown harvests will allow them to cut their prices in half sometime this fall.

Adam Markus, owner of Station 420 in Union Gap, also predicts prices will drop by half but doesn't suspect they will stay that way for long.

Just this week, Markus drove twice to Spokane and once to Seattle to meet with growers in search of enough product to keep his shelves full.

Last week, he spent a day and a half with no marijuana in small packages, in spite of an entire day of desperate phone calls.

Markus suspects prices will drop only for a few months but go back up again once retailers sell out of their outdoor-grown supplies. Changes to federal tax laws in his favor aren't coming anytime soon either, he said.

As of Tuesday, the state had issued licenses to 235 marijuana producers, though not all have necessarily started growing. Klickitat County had 12, Kittitas County five, Benton County six and Grant County two. Yakima County had one.

Yakima County has banned all marijuana businesses in the unincorporated areas, while the city of Moxee allows only producers and processors, not retail stores. Most growers prefer locating outside city limits, where they have more space between themselves and neighbors and cheaper water.

Growing pot is more technical than it looks, producers say, another trait it shares with most of the region's crops.

Crews must watch out for pests and mold, manage canopy density and regulate water. Most of the Kittitas growers haul water in by truck because of the Department of Ecology's moratorium on new wells.

At least two of the Kittitas County growers, including Life Gardens, aren't completely outdoors.

They plant in grow tubes with plastic tarps stretched over a pipe skeleton similar to those used by a handful of Yakima Valley vegetable farmers. The tubes let in fresh air and sunlight but allow the gardeners to regulate heat and humidity. In the future, they may be able to harvest three times in one year, instead of just once, or at least stagger their seasons to keep the supply more steady.

At Life Gardens, bamboo stakes support the weight of budding branches, much the way notched lumber once did for ripe apples.

Mark Ziegler spots a stick with too much ripening foliage crammed against it, causing him to worry about mold. On another stake, wire chokes a ripening bud.

"I'll have to find out whose row this is," he said.

Ziegler, 37, moved to the Ellensburg area in late June from Santa Rosa, Calif., where he worked for many years tending medical cannabis crops.

Already, his crews may have learned some lessons. Their plants, some more than 7 feet tall, have grown so big and wide that workers have to crawl on their hands and knees to reach the ones in the back. They might spread things out a little next year.

"A lot of people underestimate it and they learn the hard way," Ziegler said.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Marijuana Entrepreneurs Becoming Political Donors

The entrepreneurs of the young U.S. marijuana industry are taking another step into the mainstream, becoming political donors who use some of their profits to support cannabis-friendly candidates and ballot questions that could bring legal pot to more states.

The political activity includes swanky fundraisers at Four Seasons hotels and art auctions at law firms. And members of Congress who once politely returned the industry's contribution checks are now keeping them.

Medical marijuana businesses have been giving to candidates since the late 1990s. With the arrival of recreational pot in Colorado and Washington, the industry and its political influence are expanding rapidly.

Pot is now legal for medical or recreational purposes in 23 states and Washington, D.C. More marijuana measures will be on the November ballot in Oregon, Florida, Alaska and the nation's capital, so many contributions are being funneled into those campaigns and the candidates who support them.

In Washington state, the industry's contributions are channeled into reforms that include reducing the tax rate on pot and kicking some marijuana revenue back to cities and counties to encourage more communities to allow dispensaries, said dispensary owner John Davis, who also serves as director of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics.

The Oregon ballot measure has raised about $2.3 million. A medical-marijuana question in Florida has attracted nearly $6 million. And the Alaska campaign has brought in about $850,000. A recreational pot measure in Washington, D.C., attracted few donations, perhaps because it appears almost certain to pass.

Colorado's congressional delegation alone has received some $20,000 this year from the marijuana industry, according to federal campaign-finance data. The true figure is probably much higher because many donors do not mention the drug in campaign-finance disclosures.

The largest federal spender on marijuana advocacy is the Marijuana Policy Project, which plans to donate $150,000 to federal candidates this year, up from $110,000 in 2013. The Drug Policy Alliance and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws have also given directly to federal candidates, and tax-exempt industry groups such as the National Cannabis Industry Association can spend an unlimited amount of untracked money.

Politicians who used to reject checks from pro-marijuana donors "aren't doing that anymore," said Ethan Nadelmann, head of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance.

Still, the same candidates who cash the checks aren't always keen to talk about it. About a dozen recipients of marijuana money declined interview requests or did not return calls from The Associated Press.

A Colorado state lawmaker who accepts marijuana-industry donations conceded thinking twice before taking them.

"I always worry about what people's perceptions will be," said Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Democrat who is the only sitting Colorado legislator who supported legalization. "But it came down to, I'm on record for where I stood before I ever took a penny from this industry."

Todd Mitchem, a Denver marijuana industry consultant, recalled a fundraiser earlier this year thrown by a maker of cannabis vaporizer cartridges for a state legislator. When the company posted photos from the event on its Facebook page, the lawmaker asked that the images be taken down.

"They just didn't want to be seen. They were still taking the money," said Mitchem, who declined to name the lawmaker.

The only member of Congress who responded to the AP was Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, a longtime ally of the marijuana industry who has proposed federal legalization.

"As long as this industry Is following our state marijuana laws," Polis said in a statement, "their contributions are the same as those from any other legal donors."

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Petey to Dismiss All Seattle Marijuana Tickets

Seattle's elected prosecutor says he's dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.

In a briefing to the City Council on Monday, City Attorney Pete Holmes said he is moving to dismiss approximately 100 tickets issued by the Seattle Police Department between Jan. 1 and July 31. His office also said it would be seeking a refund for those who have already paid their $27 ticket.

Through the first six months of the year, a single officer wrote about 80 percent of the tickets, addressing some of them to "Petey Holmes" or writing that he considered the pot law "silly."

The officer, Randy Jokela, is now under official investigation by the department's Office of Professional Accountability.

In one ticket, the officer wrote that he found two people smoking marijuana and made them flip a coin to decide which person would be cited.

"(Suspect) lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked. (Suspect) was allowed to keep his pipe," the ticket reads.

In another ticket, the officer referred to Washington's voter-enacted changes to marijuana laws as "silly," according to Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole.

Jokela was temporarily reassigned but is now back on patrol. Meanwhile, the internal department investigation is ongoing.

 If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Grow Operations in WA In Need of More Power

As more marijuana producers move their plants indoors over the next two decades, the grow operations in Washington state are expected to need as much electricity each year as what a small Northwest city consumes, according to an energy forecast by regional power planners.

Demands on the Northwest electrical grid would grow further if Oregon voters pass a ballot initiative in November to legalize recreational pot use, according to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

The council, which develops a long-term power plan for Washington, Oregon, Idaho and parts of Montana, has been studying the impacts of electricity needs for operations that grow legal marijuana indoors in Washington state.

New energy demand among growers of marijuana is estimated to expand to as much as 163 megawatts a year by 2035. That represents about 10 percent of what Seattle uses annually, or roughly what a small city such as McMinnville, Oregon, uses, said Tom Eckman, the council's power planning director.

Still, it makes up less than 1 percent of overall regional electricity use.

"We're trying to ensure that we have adequate, affordable power supply," Eckman said. The analysis will be incorporated into long-term energy demand forecasts for the region, which is used by Bonneville Power Administration and regional utilities for planning.

Since Washington voters in 2012 approved an initiative to legalize recreational pot use by adults, the state Liquor Control Board has so far issued more than 200 licenses to marijuana growers out of about 2,500 who have applied.

Most producers grow pot outside, but they may start to move more operations into warehouses to get continuous harvests or have better control over the amount of light plants receive.

Indoor grow operations can be energy intensive, requiring electricity for grow lights or air conditioning systems to cool warehouses and control humidity.

The power council is in the process of developing a 20-year regional power plan for electrical needs in the Northwest and pays close attention to new and emerging energy uses, such as indoor marijuana operations, new data centers and electric vehicle charging, Eckman said.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Studies Show Traffic Deaths Won't Rise as States Legalize Marijuana

As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers, though, are divided on the question.

Studies of marijuana's effects show that the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are critical driving skills. But unlike with alcohol, drivers high on pot tend to be aware that they are impaired and try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles.

On the other hand, combining marijuana with alcohol appears to eliminate the pot smoker's exaggerated caution and seems to increase driving impairment beyond the effects of either substance alone.

Colorado and Washington are the only states that allow retail sales of marijuana for recreational use. Efforts to legalize recreational marijuana are underway in Alaska, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and the District of Columbia. Twenty-three states and the nation's capital permit marijuana use for medical purposes. It is illegal in all states to drive while impaired by marijuana.

Colorado, Washington and Montana have set an intoxication threshold of 5 parts per billion of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot, in the blood. A few other states have set intoxication thresholds, but most have not set a specific level. In Washington, there was a jump of nearly 25 percent in drivers testing positive for marijuana in 2013 - the first full year after legalization - but no corresponding increase in car accidents or fatalities.

What worries highway safety experts are cases like that of New York teenager Joseph Beer, who in October 2012 smoked marijuana, climbed into a Subaru Impreza with four friends and drove more than 100 mph before losing control. The car crashed into trees with such force that the vehicle split in half, killing his friends.

Beer pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and was sentenced last week to 5 years to 15 years in prison.

A prosecutor blamed the crash on "speed and weed," but a Yale University Medical School expert on drug abuse who testified at the trial said studies of marijuana and crash risk are "highly inconclusive." Some studies show a two- or three-fold increase, while others show none, said Dr. Mehmet Sofuoglu. Some studies even showed less risk if someone was marijuana positive, he testified.

Teenage boys and young men are the most likely drivers to smoke pot and the most likely drivers to have an accident regardless of whether they're high, he said.

In 2012, just over 10 percent of high school seniors said they had smoked pot before driving at least once in the prior two weeks, according to Monitoring the Future, an annual University of Michigan survey of 50,000 middle and high school students. Nearly twice as many male students as female students said they had smoked marijuana before driving.

A roadside survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2007 found 8.6 percent of drivers tested positive for THC, but it's not possible to say how many were high at the time because drivers were tested only for the presence of drugs, not the amount.

A marijuana high generally peaks within a half hour and dissipates within three hours, but THC can linger for days in the bodies of habitual smokers.

Inexperienced pot smokers are likely to be more impaired than habitual smokers, who develop a tolerance. Some studies show virtually no driving impairment in habitual smokers.

Two recent studies that used similar data to assess crash risk came to opposite conclusions.

Columbia University researchers compared drivers who tested positive for marijuana in the roadside survey with state drug and alcohol tests of drivers killed in crashes. They found that marijuana alone increased the likelihood of being involved in a fatal crash by 80 percent.

But because the study included states where not all drivers are tested for alcohol and drugs, a majority of drivers in fatal crashes were excluded, possibly skewing the results. Also, the use of urine tests rather than blood tests in some cases may overestimate marijuana use and impairment.

A Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation study used the roadside survey and data from nine states that test more than 80 percent of drivers killed in crashes. When adjusted for alcohol and driver demographics, the study found that otherwise sober drivers who tested positive for marijuana were slightly less likely to have been involved in a crash than drivers who tested negative for all drugs.

Many states do not test drivers involved in a fatal crash for drugs unless there is reason to suspect impairment. Even if impairment is suspected, if the driver tests positive for alcohol, there may be no further testing because alcohol alone may be enough to bring criminal charges. Testing procedures also vary from state to state.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Drunk Driver Pulled Over by 36 foot Motorhome

While the country discusses the troubling militarization of its police forces, drunk drivers in Washington should perhaps be worried about the recreational-ization of its State Patrol after a 28-year-old man was arrested by a lieutenant behind the wheel of a 36-foot motorhome Aug. 9.

According to the Washington State Patrol, the lieutenant was driving the department's Mobile Impaired Driving Unit back to its Bellevue District office around 3 a.m. when he spotted an erratic driver on 156th Street near I-90.

The Mobile Impaired Driving Unit is a 36-foot motorhome that has been turned into a mobile DUI processing center and command post. It is also equipped with emergency lights.

As there were no other units in the area, the lieutenant pulled over the 2001 Honda Accord and arrested the driver for investigation of DUI. It probably looked like a rhinoceros catching a hamster.

If you lose your privilege to drive because of a DUI incident in Washington State, you should not only check with DOL as to when you will be eligible to lawfully drive again, but you should also immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI attorney is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI attorney to help can – at a minimum – reduce DUI penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Monday, August 18, 2014

NFL Looking at New Marijuana Policies

Marijuana is casting an ever-thickening haze across NFL locker rooms, and it's not simply because more players are using it.

As attitudes toward the drug soften, and science slowly teases out marijuana's possible benefits for concussions and other injuries, the NFL is reaching a critical point in navigating its tenuous relationship with what is recognized as the analgesic of choice for many of its players.

One challenge the NFL faces is how to bring marijuana into the game as a pain reliever without condoning its use as a recreational drug. And facing a lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of former players complaining about the effects of prescription painkillers they say were pushed on them by team trainers and doctors, the NFL is looking for other ways to help players deal with the pain from a violent game.

A Gallup poll last year found 58 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. That's already happened in Colorado and Washington - the states that are home of last season's Super Bowl teams.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has said it does not need to catch out-of-competition marijuana users. And at least one high-profile coach, Pete Carroll of the champion Seahawks, publicly said he'd like to see the NFL study whether marijuana can help players.

There are no hard numbers on how many NFL players are using marijuana, but anecdotal evidence, including the arrest or league discipline of no fewer than a dozen players for pot over the past 18 months, suggests use is becoming more common.

The NFL is fighting lawsuits on two fronts - concussions and painkillers - both of which, some argue, could be positively influenced if marijuana were better tolerated by the league.

The science, however, is slow-moving and expensive and might not ever be conclusive, says behavioral psychologist Ryan Vandrey, who studies marijuana use at John Hopkins. Marijuana may work better for some people, while narcotics and other painkillers might be better for others.

The Washington Redskins, who are part of the concussion lawsuit, is working with a bio-pharmaceutical and phyto-medical company called KannaLife Sciences that recently received licensing from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a drug to treat concussions using derivatives from medical marijuana.

Co-founder Thoma Kikis, who has been working on cannibas-based solutions to concussions for a few years, said he approached the NFL about signing on to the research.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has treaded gingerly around the subject. Before last season's Super Bowl he said the league would "follow the medicine" and not rule out allowing players to use marijuana for medical purposes. An NFL spokesman reiterated that this month, saying if medical advisers inform the league it should consider modifying the policy, it would explore possible changes.

A spokesman for the players union declined comment on marijuana, beyond saying the union is always looking for ways to improve the drug-testing policy. But earlier this year, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the marijuana policy is secondary when set against the failure to bring Human Growth Hormone testing into the game. Some believe relaxing the marijuana rules could be linked to a deal that would bring in HGH testing.

The NFL drug policy has come under even more scrutiny this summer, after the NFL handed down a season-long suspension of Browns receiver Josh Gordon for multiple violations of the NFL substance-abuse policy. That suspension, especially when juxtaposed against the two-game ban Ray Rice received for domestic violence, has led some to say the league's priorities are out of whack.

In June, Harvard Medical School professor emeritus Lester Grinspoon, one of the forefathers of marijuana research, published an open letter to Goodell, urging him to drop urine testing for weed altogether and, more importantly, fund a crash research project for a marijuana-based drug that can alleviate the consequences of concussions.

The league does, in fact, fund sports-health research at the NIH, to the tune of a $30 million donation it made in 2012. But the science moves slowly no matter where it's conducted and, as Vandrey says, "the NFL is in business for playing football, not doing scientific research."

Meanwhile, marijuana becomes more and more acceptable across America every day. But even with the Super Bowl being dubbed "The Stoner Bowl" and the issue hanging heavily over the NFL's marquee event, the league has shown no signs of quick movement.

The league's threshold for a positive test remains 10 times lower than that of WADA, which changed its limit last year in a nod to the reality that the drug is not a performance enhancer.

The NFL's conundrum is figuring a graceful way to keep tabs on those who use marijuana recklessly - or recreationally - while giving others a legitimate form of pain relief.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Marijuana Sales Reach $3.8 million in First Month

During the first month of legal marijuana sales in Washington state, stores sold just under $3.8 million, which is expected to bring in more than $1 million in state taxes, the state reported on Friday.

Although licenses have been issued for about 40 stores, only 18 were selling pot in July, and 16 of them have reported sales so far in August.

During the first month of retail marijuana sales in Colorado, the state collected closer to $2 million in excise and sales taxes.

Like Colorado, Washington will tax marijuana in two ways: sales taxes and excise taxes.

Excise taxes are paid at three different points in the process: When the grower transfers the marijuana to the processor, when the processor transfers it to the store and when the retailer sells it to the consumer. The tax rate at all three points is 25 percent.

The Legislature is not banking on any marijuana revenue until the next fiscal year begins in July 2015. They have forecast tax collections totaling $122 million in the next two-year state budget cycle.

The state of Colorado has collected $29.8 million in all marijuana taxes, fees and licenses since recreational sales became legal in January. That number includes medical marijuana taxes.

About $24.7 million worth of recreational pot was sold in June in Colorado, the state reported Friday. Colorado's July tax collections have not yet been reported.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Former King County Sherrif's Deputy Pleads Guilty

A veteran King County Sheriff's deputy who helped his wife start a prostitution business, stole ammunition from the sheriff's office and dabbled in a number of illegal drugs pleaded guilty to three felony charges Monday as part of a deal with prosecutors.

A judge then sentenced Darrion Holiwell to one year plus one day in jail, calling him a disgrace to his profession.

Holiwell, a 49-year-old Seattle man, was charged with promoting prostitution, theft, and drug dealing.

Holiwell's transgressions first came to light during divorce proceedings with his third wife, Alicia Holiwell. According to the charging documents, Alicia had been physically abused by Holiwell, though she did not report the incidents, and she contacted his previous wife, Dana Smith, to see if there was a pattern. Smith was reportedly so overwhelmed by what Alicia told her, she contacted a friend who works for the sheriff's office. That friend notified her supervisor, and an investigation began.

Holiwell and Alicia separated in May 2013 -- supposedly temporarily to work on their marriage -- and Alicia got her own condo. According to the charging documents, she started her escort business shortly after.

Alicia told detectives Holiwell provided her advice on how to run the business, and in the beginning she would text him her clients' IDs and inform him when she was with a client as a security measure.

Once the business got going, Alicia was making $2,000 a weekend, and Holiwell would collect approximately 80 percent of the profits, according to the charging documents.

During this time, Holiwell reportedly supplied Alicia with human growth hormone to lose weight and marijuana and "molly," a form of Ecstasy, to help with her escort appointments.

According to the charging documents, this arrangement ended when Holiwell started dating Alicia's 20-year-old friend, violating the terms of their open relationship. Alicia got angry and filed for divorce.

Following the interviews with Alicia, detectives served search warrants at Holiwell's home and the Sheriff's Office firing range.

According to the charging documents, those search warrants turned up evidence that Holiwell had been taking both live and spent ammunition from the firing range without approval.

He reportedly gave some of the ammunition to a longtime friend who was providing him with drugs, as well as advice on the escort business. Other ammunition he traded in for credit at gun shops around the region, using it to by supplies for both his SWAT team and himself, according to the charging documents.

All told, Holiwell reportedly stole $15,000 worth of live ammunition and another 19,000 pounds of spent ammunition.

In addition, detectives turned up a number of illegal drugs, including steroids, at Holiwell's home, according to the charging documents.

Holiwell has been with the Sheriff's Office since 1995 and was a member of the department's SWAT unit and its chief firearms instructor until his arrest.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a crime, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal attorney. A criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a crime should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle criminal lawyer.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Advocates Want Warning Labels on Edibles

With marijuana officially legal and available to all Washington adults, there is now a growing call for the marijuana industry to do more to warn people about what's actually in the edible pot-infused products they're buying.

Seattle's City Attorney Pete Holmes is calling on the State Liquor Control Board to strengthen its rules on requiring edibles to show servings per container on the packaging itself.

"As people imbibe, they don't feel the immediate effect. Then they continue to imbibe, only to find that after they've ingested too much that the delayed onset effect has gotten them to a place they didn't want to be," Holmes said.

Holmes said the Washington Poison Center has seen a spike in children consuming edible marijuana since recreational sales began earlier this month.

Holmes also wants a ban on marijuana advertising on commercial vehicles and an increase in retail licenses to make sure people have enough to buy legally rather than turning to the illegal trade.

  If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Marijuana Retailer Files Law Suit Against WA Liquor Control Board

A would-be Washington marijuana seller is suing the state Liquor Control Board over his failure to obtain a retail license.

Pete O'Neil, the owner of C & C Shops, wants a license to operate in the Seattle suburb of Lynnwood, WA but in a lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court on Thursday he says officials refused to process his online application over a signature issue.

His attorney, Nancy Pacharzina, says he signed the application electronically while at the same time apparently clicking a box by mistake that said he would provide a paper copy.

The board has an unallocated retail license for Lynnwood, so O'Neil says that if he meets all other requirements, the license should be his.

Liquor Control Board spokesman Mikhail Carpenter says the agency has not yet seen the lawsuit and can't comment.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ads Target Marijuana DUI

With marijuana retail stores now open, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) wants to make it clear that while marijuana use may be legal, driving under its influence is not.

To remind people that driving high is illegal, the commission is launching an advertising campaign called “Drive High, Get a DUI.” The 30-second television commercials show people attempting common activities while high. On-screen text tells viewers that while it is legal to do these things under the influence of marijuana, it is still not legal to drive under the influence.

The campaign coincides with the kickoff of State Patrol DUI-emphasis patrols. Starting July 1, state troopers have had extra patrols out on the highways. The campaign and the extra patrols are part of Target Zero, a program that strives to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030. The most common drug found in drug-impaired fatal and serious-injury crashes is marijuana, according to a State Patrol marijuana fact sheet.

Initiative 502, approved by voters in 2012, did not provide funding for public education before legalization, but WTSC sees this campaign as critical to prevent DUIs.

The ad campaign and extra patrols are paid for by the commission. The Colorado Department of Transportation produced and aired the commercials earlier this year in Colorado, where marijuana has been legal for more than five months.

Under Initiative 502, adults age 21 and older in Washington may legally posses one ounce or less of marijuana, 16 ounces of a marijuana-infused product in solid form and 72 ounces of a marijuana-infused product in liquid form. Consuming marijuana in view of the general public is still a civil infraction.
A DUI offender serves at least one day in jail and may be fined up to $5,000.

 If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

WA State Issues First Licenses for Marijuana Retail Stores

As Washington state prepares to issue the first licenses for marijuana retail stores, Washington state leaders on Tuesday announced a coordinated campaign to make sure pot stays out of the hands of minors once products start hitting store shelves next month.

Different state agencies are working together to make sure the public has the information they need to make healthy decisions and the tools that they need to keep our kids safe. The Liquor Control Board will issue about 20 retail licenses on July 7, and the stores that are ready can open the next day. More stores will get licensed in the following days.

During a news conference on Tuesday, officials with the state Liquor Control Board, which has been overseeing the implementation of the state's recreational marijuana law, said that they are poised to adopt emergency rules Wednesday to do three things concerning edible marijuana: require all marijuana-infused products to be labeled clearly as containing marijuana; require all products to be scored in such a way that a serving size is easily identified by the consumer; and requiring marijuana-infused products to be approved by the board before sale.

Previously adopted rules already require marijuana-infused products to be stored behind a counter or other barrier, and to be child-resistant. Officials stressed that no product will approved if it has a label that is appealing to kids.

Edibles won't be available right away once stores open because a commercial kitchen is required, and, so far, no processors with commercial kitchens have been licensed.

The state has launched a $400,000 statewide radio and online campaign by the Department of Health this week that urges parents to talk with their children about the health risks of using marijuana. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission also launched a "Drive High, Get a DUI" campaign. State Patrol has said that troopers have been trained to recognize signs of stoned driving.

At the end of 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize possession of recreational marijuana by adults 21 and older. The voters also called for the establishment of systems of state-licensed pot growers, processors and retail stores. Sales have already begun in Colorado.

 If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI attorney. A DUI attorney is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI attorney to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their DUI charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for DUI should hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

King County Sheriff's Deputy Arrested for DUI

A King County sheriff's deputy who crashed his patrol car while on duty in February has been charged with hit and run and driving under the influence.

Deputy Mark Rockwood had just started his shift before 7 a.m. on February 28 when dispatchers began getting calls about his driving. Rockwood, who was in a Shoreline police car, was driving erratically, running stop lights and stopping in the middle of intersections while driving northbound on Highway 99 in Lynnwood, according to charging papers.

He eventually rear-ended a driver and came to a stop near NE 132nd Street and State Route 527. Officers from several jurisdictions soon arrived on scene and began interviewing Rockwood.

Police say the 47-year-old appeared extremely confused and disoriented. He was wearing his King County Sheriff's Office jumpsuit, but he was disheveled and the suit was unzipped in the front with his bulletproof vest showing, according to court documents.

Police say Rockwood had difficulty standing and had wobbly legs. Officers noticed he was wearing his gun belt, but his gun was missing. He said he didn't know where the gun was and didn't appear concerned about its whereabouts, according to police.

Officers didn't smell alcohol on Rockwood, so they called in a drug recognition expert from the Washington State Patrol. The trooper drove Rockwood to a nearby police station and said the deputy fell asleep in the car during the short trip.

At the station, Rockwood failed several sobriety tests and fell asleep again during another test.

He told the trooper he had taken at least four Ambien sleeping pills between midnight and 2 a.m. He also said he had taken a medication for acid reflux, another for foot fungus, Lorazepam, Xanax, Lamisyl, acetaminophen, Oxyperoly and Celexa, which is an antidepressant, according to charging documents.

Rockwood was then arrested for suspicion of DUI. A blood test later showed he had taken Celexa, a cold medication and Ambien.

Officers found Rockwood's personal car parked at a nearby fire station. It was damaged, and police searched the area and found a stop sign that had been hit with a car and knocked over. Investigators say the paint transfer shows that Rockwood's car could have hit the sign.

The deputy is a 19-year-veteran of the sheriff's office. He was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, but is currently back on duty and working patrol, according to the sheriff's office.

 Now more than ever, one cited for DUI is well advised to hire a qualified Seattle DUI attorney as soon as possible. Driving Under the Influence allegations in Washington State are extremely serious, and can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI lawyer. The Seattle DUI attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle DUI defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for DUI in Western Washington. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

PA Lawyer Accepts Oral Sex as Fee

Applying a new Pennsylvania legal ethics rule for the first time, the state's supreme court has OK'd a one-year law license suspension for a suburban Philadelphia lawyer who admitted he accepted oral sex as a fee for representing a client in a driving-under-the-influence case.

David H. Knight agreed to the attorney disciplinary sanction and was given a lesser penalty than he might otherwise have received because of his cooperation.

According to the disciplinary petition, this is the first time a lawyer has been sanctioned in the state for violating Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8(j), which became effective in 2005. It flatly prohibits sex with a client, regardless of whether there is consent or the client is prejudiced as a result. Washington rules of professional conduct (RPC) strictly prohibits a lawyer from engaging in sexual contact with any client.

The old standard, Rule 1.7, states that "a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest." It appears that no lawyer had been sanctioned under the old rule, either, the legal publication says.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle criminal attorney. A Seattle criminal attorney is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle criminal lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce those penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge. So it should go without saying that someone cited for criminal charge should hire a qualified Seattle criminal lawyer as soon as possible.