Grant County Passes Ordinance Making Drug Possession Illegal
Grant County passes drug possesion ordinance
By way of the Grant County Sheriff's Office, some big news for Moses Lake, Ephrata, and surrounding areas.
You're probably aware of the Washington State Supreme Court's recent ruling in a case, where a woman sued over being arrested for drug possession. She argued the drugs were not hers. The case made it's way up the ladder, as perhaps a 'test case' for possession.
The Supreme Court, honestly never known for making 'conservative' or pro law enforcement decisions consistently, ruled the statutes in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) concerning a person being able to be arrested just for possession, were un-Constitutional.
This not only got the attention of other states, but sent shock waves through WA. But now, a growing number of cities and now counties are drafting their own ordinances and modifying their own municipal codes to make it at least a misdemeanor in their jurisdictions.
Grant County is the first east side county we're aware of to do this. March 16th, according to the Sheriff's Department, the county signed an ordinance that will make illegal drug possession a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
For decades law enforcement used possession as a means to get criminals off the street, and even break up drug ring operations. Often during 72-hour investigative holds, officers could gather more evidence to help their case. Many times during traffic stops, when drugs were clearly visible inside the vehicle, officers would find it led to more serious criminal activity.
Sheriff Tom Jones said the Court's decision was not in the best interest of WA state, especially since Grant County has a high incidence of drug related activity and related crime.
The ordinance will remain in effect until the State Legislature passes a law preempting it, if that happens, the ordinance will expire the day the new law goes into effect.
The legislature and courts have done some surprising things in 2021, but 2020 was rather wild as well. See below.
LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020