Prosecutor Not Confident Possession Law Will Change
Don't expect lawmakers to put more teeth into the states drug possession law that was struck down by the Washington Supreme Court. That from Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic. Lawmakers did make an overhaul of the law in the last legislative session but Brusic says it's now simple misdemeanor crime.
The Associated Press reports the Washington Supreme Court struck down the state's drug possession law saying it was unconstitutional. The AP writes "majority Democrats in Olympia have seized on the court’s ruling in February as an opportunity to address some of the harm the war on drugs has caused, especially to communities of color. The measure passed by the House on Saturday makes simple drug possession a misdemeanor for now, but that provision expires in two years. It also aims to greatly expand access to treatment and outreach services. The Senate concurred with those changes, and it now heads to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee."
Brusic says majority democrats want to create more of an opportunity for people to get help rather than jail time. The measure passed by the House on Saturday makes simple drug possession a misdemeanor but the law expires in two years.
Prosecutor Brusic says after the current law expires in 2 years he expects the legislature to further erode the law and eventually make the state's possession law punishable by a civil infraction as a way to push more people into treatment.
Many prosecutors around the state are against that move but say they have to follow the law.