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Washington state justices strike down felony drug possession law

Washington state justices strike down felony drug possession law

GENE JOHNSON | February 25th, 2021

The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the state’s felony drug possession law because — unlike the laws of every other state — it did not require prosecutors to prove someone knowingly or intentionally possessed drugs.

The ruling came in the case of a Spokane woman who had received a pair of jeans from a friend that had a small bag of methamphetamine in a pocket.

Five justices, led by Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, said the state law was unconstitutional because it criminalized her passive, unknowing conduct, in violation of her due process protections. A letter carrier who unwittingly delivers a package of drugs, someone whose roommate hides drugs in a common living area, and someone who picks up the wrong bag at an airport could all be convicted under the law, she noted.

Washington state justices strike down felony drug possession law






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