Seattle cop Randy Jokela sure is consistent. Perhaps a little too consistent for his own good. Several local media outlets, including the Seattle Times, identified him as the officer who dished out 80 percent of all marijuana related citations in the Emerald City during the first six months of 2014. Marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use in Washington, but law enforcement officials can hand out tickets for public pot consumption.
In the days before Washington legalized marijuana, Jokela would have probably won a commendation or two. Instead, he’s in the dog house. Seattle Police Department Chief Kathleen O’Toole (who hasn’t confirmed the officer’s identity) reassigned Jokela to desk duty pending an administrative investigation into his pot citation frenzy. The veteran (known as “Joker” on the streets) had been assigned to the West Precinct Bike Unit. A biannual review of Seattle Police’s marijuana enforcement efforts revealed the officer issued 63 out of 83 tickets, and that he often attached notes to them expressing his disgust for the state’s lenient marijuana laws.
In one ticket, the Seattle officer wrote that he found two people smoking marijuana and made them flip a coin to decide which toker would get cited. “Suspect lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked,” the ticket reads. “Suspect was allowed to keep his pipe.”
He also appeared to hold a grudge against Seattle City Attorney and legalization proponent Pete Holmes, who was caught sneaking in some sweet buds into city hall. Jokela refers to his fellow civil servant as “Petey Holmes” on numerous citations.
The biannual marijuana enforcement report also found some disturbing trends. About 36 percent of those cited were African Americans, who represent just eight percent of Seattle’s population according to the 2010 census. Homeless people accounted for 46 percent of people who received marijuana tickets.