It’s Now Almost Impossible to Get Arrested for Drugs in Washington State

It’s Now Almost Impossible to Get Arrested for Drugs in Washington State

( – The legalization or decriminalization of drugs has become a huge talking point across the United States in recent years. This policy has mainly centered around marijuana rather than harder substances; as of 2021, people in 19 states and Washington, DC, can legally purchase cannabis for recreational use. However, the state of Washington appears to have gone a step further, though perhaps unintentionally.

Drugs remain illegal in Washington, but a legal technicality has made it almost impossible for police to arrest those in possession of controlled substances. After the state’s Supreme Court ruled a law making drug possession a felony unconstitutional, the legislature reduced the offense to a misdemeanor. 

Under the new system, police can only arrest and charge individuals the third time they catch them with enough drugs for personal use. On the first two occasions, the offender simply receives a warning and contact details for rehabilitation facilities. This rule does not apply if police catch a suspect with a volume of controlled substances large enough to arouse suspicion of drug trafficking. 

Authorities state-wide have complained the law is almost impossible to enforce because tracking drug offenders without arresting them is a difficult task. However, some Liberal lawmakers have praised the new rules, claiming they represent a step toward treating Washington’s drug users with more compassion.

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