Defelonize Personal Drug Possession in Washington State

Washington : Defelonize Personal Drug Possession in Washington State

A recently announced proposal to remove felony charges for personal drug possession in Washington State will be prefiled in the House of Representatives this December, with State Representative Sherry Appleton (23rd District) as the primary sponsor. Representatives Jim Moeller (Speaker Pro Tempore, 49th District), Joe Fitzgibbon (34th District), Chris Reykdal (22nd District) and Jessyn Farrell (Assistant Majority Whip, 46th District), Luis Moscoso, Jamie Pederson, as well as Senator Jeannie Kohl-Welles will be among those cosponsoring the proposal.

Under current Washington State law, the possession of over 40 grams of cannabis, or a minuscule amount of any other controlled substance, is a felony charge with a potential 5 year prison sentence. This new proposal would alter the law so that these possession charges would be misdemeanors (with a 90 day maximum sentence), unless intent to distribute is proven. Reducing the charge to a misdemeanor would end the social and economic impact of felonizing low-level drug offenses, which leads to the mass imprisonment of nonviolent individuals at taxpayer expense.

You can take action to ensure this proposal becomes law by contacting your State Representatives below and asking them to co-sponsor this proposal before it is filed later this year.

You can read more about this proposal, and get updates here.

 

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