Yet another city official is seeking his employees’ and the public’s forgiveness for being derelict in his duties.
We chastised the Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco and Mayor Ed Murray in this space last week for making dishonorable decisions in their respective roles as high-profile leaders of a metropolitan city.
On July 8, City Attorney Pete Holmes used the media to show his ardent support of the legalization of recreational marijuana by being among the first customers of Cannabis City in SODO, the only store in Seattle licensed to sell the product. Holmes emphasized his 4-gram purchase with a short press conference about the “tectonic shift in public policy” and then promptly brought it back to his office — in direct violation of city policy.
While his intention was to store it there for the day as he tended to his busy schedule, Holmes failed to remember that this package was not any regular purchase from a downtown store. Instead, the media hype prompted the city’s personnel director to send an internal memo the following day about not being able possess marijuana while conducting city business.
Holmes initially denied his possession was against city policy, as did his office’s spokesperson after the memo was sent.
While rules are still being defined for marijuana users, the city attorney should rightfully know that, because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, the City of Seattle (which receives federal funding) and its employees are “subject to the terms of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988,” as stated in the memo.
Even the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct mocked Holmes’ actions with a drawing of him smoking a joint in his office.
Instead of merely apologizing for not upholding the law and volunteering to donate $3,000 to the Downtown Emergency Service Center, the city’s head prosecutor should be subject to the same disciplinary actions as any other city employee. And he should learn to not flout the law so publicly.
Another mistake won’t likely occur since Cannabis City is closed until the end of the month as the store waits for the growers to catch up with buyers’ demand and send out their next shipments.
And based on recent events, one thing we should probably expect to see on an upcoming news broadcast: another example of the new idiocracy of Seattle politics.