Yakima Officials Hoping Lawmakers Find Fix To State Drug Law
Yakima city and county leaders are looking for answers in the state's drug possession law or lack of the law.
Washington State lawmakers failed to come up with a fix to the state's drug possession laws leaving cities and counties to come up with their own laws.
TIME IS LIMITED FOR LOCAL LAWMAKERS TO ACT
They need to act fast because starting July 1 if no law is in place in the state or in cities and counties drug possession will be legal. The current situation is the result of a 2021 state Supreme Court ruling that said the state's drug possession law was unconstitutional because it did not require a person to knowingly possess drugs to be convicted. So now it's up to local lawmakers.
LOCAL LAWS MAY NOT BE NEEDED IF LAWMAKERS FIND A FIX
But the local action may not be needed because Governor Jay Inslee says Tuesday he'll announce a date for a special legislative session to deal with state drug possession law. Yakima County Commissioner Amanda McKinney has introduced a proposed drug possession ordinance that would classify possession as a misdemeanor for the first offense.
BOTH CITY AND COUNTY LEADERS ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
Yakima City Council member Matthew Brown says city officials are also researching and talking about enacting local laws. The lawmakers need to act fast because the current possession law expires on July 1.
WILL THE GOVERNOR SET A DATE FOR THE SPECIAL SESSION?
So it's a waiting game Tuesday as officials around the state wait for the governor to announce a special session of the Washington State Legislature to deal with the state's drug possession law and hopefully come up with a fix before July 1.
This story will be updated if the governor sets a date for the special session.