OLYMPIA — Legislation to amend Washington’s drug possession laws and increase participation in pretrial treatment programs was introduced in the Senate Friday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett), permanently addresses the state Supreme Court’s 2021 State v. Blake ruling, which struck down the statute that made possession of controlled substances a class C felony and removed any criminal penalties for possession. In response, the Legislature established a simple misdemeanor penalty for knowing possession that same year, but it is set to expire July 1, 2023.
"Substance use disorder is not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue,” Robinson said. “This legislation is the result of many conversations with community members, law enforcement, local government leaders, behavioral health providers and more. ...Read More