African-Americans and homeless people were cited the most for public marijuana use in Seattle, according to the first six months of data in 2014.
Most of the citations — 66 of 82 — were issued by one police officer, according to a statement from the Seattle Police Department.
The officer was taken off of patrol duty and has been reported to the department’s Office of Professional Accountability, the police statement said. The department did not identify the officer.
Thirty-six percent of the people cited were homeless or living in transitional housing, the report said.
The officer who issued the majority of marijuana citations sometimes wrote notes on the tickets. In one note on a ticket he issued, the officer “indicated he flipped a coin when contemplating which subject to cite,” according to the statement.
In another note, the officer referred to the “silly” marijuana laws passed in Washington state, the statement says.
Washington and Colorado are the only states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Washington’s retail marijuana went on sale this month, after the data was collected for the report.
Under Washington’s law, it’s illegal to smoke or consume a marijuana product in public.
The Seattle City Council requires reporting of marijuana enforcement to ensure citations are not issued in a “racially disproportionated matter,” said Peter Holmes, city attorney, in a statement.