Daily Archives: March 8, 2010

It’s the pocket – not the pot – that’ll get you in trouble

Unlike almost everywhere else, Bainbridge Island has no rule against possessing a small amount of pot.

Yet, people get busted for having misdemeanor amounts (under 40 grams) of pot just about every week on the island.

How do the police do it?

“We can arrest someone for having drug paraphernalia,” Scott Weiss, an island officer, told criminal justice reporter Josh Farley. “But not for the marijuana.”

And what if the person has some pot but doesn’t have a bong, pipe or other common pot-smoking accoutrements?

“Even if they have marijuana in their pocket, then the pocket becomes the paraphernalia,” said Kitsap County deputy prosecutor Claire Bradley.

So, whatever the pot is in – baggie or back pocket – is considered “paraphernalia,” and could carry a 90-day jail sentence.

Last week, the Bainbridge Police Department asked the City Council to finally put misdemeanor pot possession on the books. They change, police say, will give a more accurate and honest description of a person’s criminal conduct.

The council has asked for more information about how many drug paraphernalia cases are filed in county’s district court, and will likely decide how to proceed later this month.

Read more here.