The state is cleaning up the records of people who were convicted under a drug possession law that the Washington Supreme Court now considers unconstitutional. Denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts and licenses, up to 1 year for the first violation, up to 5 years for subsequent violations. Revocation of federal licenses and benefits, such as pilot's licenses, public housing leases, etc. You are not eligible to receive or purchase a firearm.
The result of that decision is new legislation (SB 547) that requires law enforcement agencies across the state to follow the path that Seattle, Burien and some other jurisdictions are currently taking with respect to drug possession and other low-level crimes. Voters there approved a measure last November to turn drug possession into a civil offense, with the fine forgiven if the user undergoes a health screening. Bowman's Supreme Court ruling challenged the constitutionality of Washington's drug possession law and turned some lawmakers upside down after she told the judge she didn't know where the methamphetamine found in her pants came from. Inslee shared that this updated measure “will help reduce the disparate impact of the previous drug possession law on people of color before signing the bill.
Nearly four months after the state Supreme Court struck down Washington's felony drug possession law as unconstitutional, the Federal Government Drug Laws (21 USC Controlled Substances Act) The possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs is prohibited by federal law. Only a few months later, new legislation would be introduced that reclassified simple possession as a “misdemeanor”, rather than a “felony” as previously designated in Washington's drug laws. This new law makes simple drug possession a misdemeanor and funds the development of a state framework for treatment and recovery. Blake, who scrapped the state's law against drug possession because it didn't require the defendant to actually know he had the drug.
While the previous bill considered punishment for drug possession unconstitutional, lawmakers ultimately reclassified possession of narcotics as a “misdemeanor,” which many say could continue to negatively affect communities of color and others affected by the Drug War. Thanks to a spoken woman named Shannon Bowman, simple drug possession was legalized in Washington, albeit briefly. Asked about Blake's ruling, 59 percent of respondents said lawmakers should use the court's decision to “reconsider and replace past drug possession laws with more effective addiction and treatment alternatives. Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties (21 USC 84) Penalties for federal drug trafficking convictions vary depending on the amount of controlled substance involved in the transaction.
Also under the new drug possession law, police would now be allowed to “divert a defendant's first two offenses to treatment before the case reaches a prosecutor. Inslee further stated that this legislation will help “the system move from responding to possession as a felony to focusing on behavioral health response, which is a much more appropriate and successful way to address the needs underlying drug abuse. Others cautioned that without the preference of a statewide law, local governments would adopt their own laws against drug possession, creating a mosaic of wildly different approaches across the state.