Police told to stop harassing marijuana initiative proponents

Dec 8, 2011

The King County Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Public Stadium Authority have agreed to stop harassing people collecting signatures outside the Seahawks football stadium for an initiative that would legalize and tax recreational marijuana in the state.

One of the signature gatherers, Benjamin Schroeter, was arrested last month after he refused an order to stop collecting signatures for Initiative 502 in a public area outside the stadium. Another gatherer, campaign staffer Tonia Winchester, said she and others were threatened with arrest and kicked out of the north parking lot at Qwest Field for collecting signatures before the Apple Cup game between Washington and Washington State.

Schroeter and Winchester sued in federal court. In a stipulation filed Thursday, the sheriff's office and stadium officials agreed that law enforcement officials, parking attendants and others will allow the signature gathering at least through the end of the year.