- The Seattle City Council Monday approved legislation setting the fine for smoking marijuana in public at $27 a pop, putting the, um, crime on par with drinking a beer or a gin martini:
Council adopted legislation today setting fines on smoking marijuana in public at the same level as public consumption of alcohol, $27. The legislation notes that the Seattle Police Department will issue a warning to offenders whenever practical before issuing a citation. The bill requires SPD to monitor enforcement by age, race, sex and locations of any citations, so Council can evaluate whether the law is being equitably enforced. The ordinance goes into effect thirty days after it is signed into law by the executive.
Meanwhile, the Denver Police Department has reportedly told its officers they are forbidden from working as off-duty security at the city’s new retail pot stores. A Denver PD memo “prohibits officers from providing security at any business that ‘constitutes a threat to the status of dignity’ of the profession and from ‘providing security for the transportation of financial proceeds from any marijuana-related business’,” according to the report. We’ll check in with SPD to find out they plan to handle potential security work.
- Seattle’s City Council also passed a resolution for the city to study how to use public resources, including eminent domain, to save underwater mortgages:
The resolution establishes a City of Seattle Interdepartmental Team, or IDT, which will evaluate whether principal reduction and other foreclosure prevention programs effectively provide assistance to low- income homeowners. The IDT is scheduled to report back to Council on March 15, 2014 with recommendations of which approaches Seattle should consider in an effort to help low-income homeowners and revitalize communities impacted by the foreclosure crisis.
CHS reported on the resolution last week.
- The City of Seattle announced $27 million in funding to support affordable housing projects. Included in the grants is support for Capitol Hill Housing’s Haines Apartments — “preservation of 30 units of low-income housing, currently occupied by seniors and disabled residents on Capitol Hill.”