WA Legislature Facing Special Session on Blake Drug Bill
The bill the legislators thought would be the Blake Decision 'fix' was shockingly shot down in the legislature.
Special session begins May 16th
Beginning Monday, May 16th, state House and Senate leaders will return to Olympia to try to hammer out a bill that would apply at least some penalties for drug possession in WA state.
In February, 2021, the State Supreme Court ruled in The Blake Decision, that possession of hard drugs and narcotics was unconstitutional. This not only vacated thousands of drug convictions going back decades (if a person followed the steps to clear their name) but also left law enforcement powerless.
No longer could they use possession to arrest people and use their information to lead to larger drug operations and use. During the 2021 legislative session, a 'fix' bill was passed but only made possession a misdemeanor for the 3rd time a person was arrested for having drugs.
However that bill expires July 1st, 2023, and a replacement bill was shockingly voted down because it was not considered tough enough. House and Senate Republicans wanted it to be a gross misdemeanor (jail time and a fine) but those amendments were ousted by Democrats. So, a number of GOP legislators voted against the bill and it was defeated. The legislature adjourned without a solution.
Now, legislators have to come up with a solution
Unless they are able to craft and pass a bill, there will be virtually no penalties for possessing heroin, coke, meth, fentanyl, and other hard narcotics in WA state.