To wind up its unfinished business on dr*g possession, the Washington State Legislature will try to do so this month. On Tuesday, May 2, Governor Jay Inslee announced that he would convene a special legislative session beginning on May 16 to establish additional penalties for dr*g possession and addiction treatment.
After months of back-and-forth discussions between legislators in the House and Senate, the news comes after Republican and progressive Democrats opposed amendments to the state’s marijuana possession statute on the penultimate day of the regular session.
The extraordinary session is necessary, according to Inslee and other top officials. After the Washington State Supreme Court overturned the state’s felony dr*g possession penalties in 2021 (in a ruling known as “The Blake Decision”), the current dr*g possession statute was p@ssed as a stopgap measure. Until July 1, that legislation is just temporary.
Here’s what you need to know now about recent events in Washington State:
- Washington Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Are Bullish.
- F@tal Pedestrian Accident on Interstate 295.
After Inslee’s announcement, Republican Senate Leader John Braun (R-Centralia) released a statement saying there had been no progress toward an agreement. “There have been productive bipartisan discussions over the past week,” Braun said.
Though I have faith that things will work out better the second time, I recognize the need to proceed cautiously. Some local governments have begun enacting their dr*g sanctions without new legislation from the Legislature. The special session can end soon or go on for a whole month.
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