[Update 1/6/2015: House Bill 1024 has received a public hearing date in the House Public Safety Committee, which will occur at 10AM on January 16th at the John L. O’Brien Building in Olympia (504 15th Avenue Southeast).]
House Bill 1024, filed by Representative Sherry Appleton on December 8th, would remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances, reducing the charge to a simple (non-gross) misdemeanor. According to an official fiscal note for an identical bill, the proposal would save the state millions of dollars each year, would free up prison space and would prevent over 9,000 individuals annually from receiving a devastating felony charge. Charges involving distribution or manufacturing drugs, and any charge involving minors, would remain unaltered.
We encourages those who support his proposal to contact their lawmakers, and urge them to support and vote for House Bill 1024. Those who aren’t sure who their district’s lawmakers are can look them up by clicking here.
Defelonizing personal drug possession in Washington State is supported by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington CURE and the ACLU of Washington. Legislative supporters include Rep. June Robinson (Assistant Majority Whip), Rep. Luis Moscoso, Rep. Chris Reykdal, Rep. Jim Moeller (Speaker Pro Tempore), Rep. Jessyn Farrell, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (Deputy Majority Whip) and Senator Jeannie Kohl-Welles.