Seattle facing rift between police and politicians over jump in crime, open pot smoking

by
December 10, 2013

Whether it’s commercial airplanes, coffee or computers, Seattle has long been a city known for being ahead of the curve. But now, a range of issues – including a jump in serious downtown crime and open pot smoking – are threatening to open a rift between police and politicians that could damage the city’s image.

“We were getting more and more comments from people who are working downtown, owning a business, living downtown or visiting, that they just weren’t feeling comfortable anymore,” says Kate Joncas, Executive Director of the Downtown Seattle Association.

Joncas wrote a letter to the city council saying the level of violence downtown was unacceptable and was putting Seattle’s economy at risk.

One business apparently not hurting is marijuana sales. But while recreational pot is now legal statewide, it is still against the law to smoke it in public.

Minors are barred from lighting up anywhere. But whether at the annual hempfest event or on the streets downtown, it remains a law that is largely ignored by both public and police.

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