Law/Justice

Drug possession bills emerge to address wide-reaching state Supreme Court ruling

OLYMPIA — About a month has passed since the Washington state Supreme Court ruled the state’s simple drug possession law unconstitutional in its State v. Blake decision.

Justices found the law was unconstitutional because it didn’t require prosecutors to prove an accused person knowingly or intentionally had drugs.

The ruling’s implications have rippled through the state’s criminal justice system. State Caseload Forecast Council records indicate there have been about 5,000-6,000 convictions for simple possession per year over the last 20 years, according to Russell Brown, executive director of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

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