Charges for marijuana can happen until next month - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Charges for marijuana can happen until next month

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Washington voters approved a historic move to legalize recreational marijuana last week.

All the rules and enforcement details are still being ironed out, but many prosecutors across the state are throwing out their pending misdemeanor cases. As of December 6th, it will no longer be illegal for adults 21 years and older to possess less than ounce of marijuana.

For those who already have it on their record, nothing will change. Technically, anyone who is caught with marijuana between today and December 6th is still breaking the law and can be charged.

Possessing less than 40 grams is considered a misdemeanor and is usually handled by city attorneys. County prosecutors do handle some cases that fall outside city limits. Many prosecutors across the state have decided to drop those pending cases, specifically those in King and Pierce County. But each municipality will make their own decision.

Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller says they handle about five pot possession cases a week, and they'll be handled on a case by case bas. "We're giving them all a second look with the purpose of 502 in mind. We're looking at criminal history, the circumstances of the arrest, whether or not there is other criminal activity at the time," Miller said.

Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant says his office will handle their 10 open cases on a case by case basis as well.

Yakima City prosecuting attorneys says they're not sure what they're going to do yet, but they don't have to dismiss the 26 pending cases if they don't want to.

Yakima County has also not reached a decision on whether they'll dismiss the misdemeanor 133 cases. has been made whether or not they'll dismiss the cases. But prosecutor said not all for those 21 and older and some do have other criminal circumstances involved as well. They will likely decide on a case by case basis as well.