Washington Supreme Court Strikes Down Criminalization Of Drug Possession

MJ moment

Washington State’s felony law against drug possession abruptly disappeared Thursday after the state Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional. As lawmakers decide how to respond to the decision—with a bill to decriminalize all drugs having already passed a legislative committee earlier this month—some police departments and prosecutors have now announced they’ll no longer arrest or pursue cases against people over possession of small amounts. Simple drug possession “is no longer an arrestable offense,” the Seattle Police Department said in a public statement following the ruling. “Effective immediately, officers will no longer detain nor arrest individuals” merely for having drugs. The ruling in the case, State v. Blake, applies only to possession of controlled substances. Other state drug laws, such as those against selling or driving under the influence of drugs, are unaffected. Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys sent a memo directing its members to drop ongoing drug possession cases and seek orders vacating convictions for past cases. “While the legislature can change this prospectively (such action is doubtful), police officers must immediately stop making arrests for simple possession of drugs,” an official with the prosecutors group wrote in an email to Seattle police. “No search warrants. No detentions upon suspicion of simple possession awaiting canine units, etc.” “You will need to advise your officers as to whether officers should still seize the unlawful drugs as contraband or leave them in possession of the individual,” the email continued. BREAKING: @SeattlePD has been ordered to stop arresting criminals in possession of drugs. Washington State Superior Court ruled today that arresting those in possession of drugs is ‘unconstitutional.’ This is the start of drug legalization in the state of WA. pic.twitter.com/nrqIOjdRVh — Katie Daviscourt (@KatieDaviscourt) February 25, 2021 Pacific County Prosecutor Ben Haslam told…

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Source : Washington Supreme Court Strikes Down Criminalization Of Drug Possession

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