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April 6, 2021 1 min
On Monday, April 5th, the Senate Ways and Means committee convened for a public hearing on SB 5476 - an act, that if passed, could potentially change how the state penalizes drug possession. Under current state law, any individual who unknowingly carries a controlled substance but is found guilty would receive the same legal penalties charged on someone who is also found guilty but is aware that they are in possession of said substances. Earlier in February, however, in a court ruling over State v. Blake, the Washington Supreme court found this to be unconstitutional and a violation of an individual’s due process. The bill aims to reinforce this by proposing certain “personal use amounts” of controlled substances, while prohibiting anyone over 21 years of age to knowingly possess an amount that exceeds this, and making it illegal for anyone under 21 to possess any amount of controlled substances.
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