In a historic move, Seattle Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel took part in a pot rally Saturday. He told the crowd he doesn’t endorse or condemn the drug, his focus is following the law.
“We are public servants and we want to make sure they help the police make sure what they voted for works,” said Pugel.
Last November, voters passed Initiative 502, which legalized the possession of marijuana for adults 21 and older. The measure also licenses and regulates the drug’s production and distribution.
More than a hundred people that took part in the “Cannabis Freedom March” say it’s a step in the right direction but it’s not enough.
“This is our step in the door and we have to just push it open,” said Melissa Hysom, an organizer.
Sharon Whitson, a Hempfest organizer, decorated a hearse for the event.
“We want to be mourning the death of prohibition,” she said.
The rally made its way from Volunteer Park to Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle. According to Pugel, his presence serves an important purpose. He called on pot smokers to respect law enforcement and obey the law.
“Don’t use it in public, don’t provide to minors, buy only from lawful dispensaries,” said Pugel.
The legalization of the drug has made police enforcement easier.
“Now police officers have a little bit more clarification on what the boundaries are,” he said.
While the future is hazy, organizers say the event ignites hope that cannabis laws will become clearer.