Lincoln County District Attorney: Dropping a number of current marijuana cases – likely to not file charges on many through next July 15
From Michelle Branam, Lincoln County District Attorney
The Lincoln County District Attorney’s office has reviewed all open marijuana cases in light of the passage of Ballot Measure 91. There are a total of 15 open cases involving criminal charges involving marijuana, of any sort, out of a total of 3,274 open active criminal cases. Of those 15, there are 4 involving behavior that would violate what the voters passed under Ballot Measure 91, where some of the charges associated with the conduct alleged will be decriminalized as of July 1, 2015 when the Measure becomes law.
Violation tickets that are directly filed to the Court by Law Enforcement partners—the equivalent of a traffic ticket may still be outstanding. This office will take no part in the prosecution of those tickets.
The remaining 11 cases, involving marijuana, charged as crimes involve conduct that would be outside of what was de-criminalized by the voters under ballot Measure 91. Of those, most involve large scale commercial operations or illegal delivery of marijuana to minors. Additionally, there is currently 1 case in warrant status that is similarly situated.
Because it is clear that a significant majority of voters in Lincoln County support the legalization of recreational marijuana in certain amounts, this office will dismiss the pending charges related to conduct which will otherwise become legal July 1, 2015. Any remaining charges not impacted by Ballot Measure 91 will be prosecuted.
This office does not plan to prosecute future charges for conduct related to marijuana possession and delivery of marijuana which will become lawful under Measure 91 absent exceptional circumstances. This office continues to be committed to aggressive prosecution of driving under the influence cases involving marijuana, illegal large scale commercial marijuana operations and any delivery of marijuana to minors offenses. While we recognize the voters of Lincoln County support the legalization of marijuana, this step must be taken responsibly to ensure the safety and well-being of our children and community.