Support Defelonizing Personal Drug Possession!
During the 2014 session we introduced House Bill 2116 (with State Representative Sherry Appleton as the primary sponsor), which would have defelonized personal drug possession in Washington State, reducing the charge from a felony, to a misdemeanor. The maximum prison sentence would be reduced from 5 years, to 90 days. Charges involving distribution would be unaltered. An identical bill was filed for the 2015-2016 session on December 8th, 2014.
Although House Bill 2116 received enough support in the House Public Safety Committee during the 2014 session to be passed out of committee, Representative Roger Goodman, Chair of the committee, decided to postpone a vote.
According to the state’s official fiscal note for House Bill 2116, defelonization would prevent over 9,000 felonies for personal drug possession from occurring each year, saving thousands of people from the permanently harmful effects of a felony drug conviction, which includes the loss of housing, work and educational opportunities. The proposal would also save the state millions of dollars annually, and would reduce the overcrowding of our prisons with nonviolent drug offenders.
Below is a list of organizations and individuals who agree with us that it’s time for Washington State to have a more reasonable drug policy, and have officially endorsed our effort.
Organizations Supporting Defelonization in Washington State
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Individuals Supporting Defelonization in Washington State
State Representative Sherry Appleton
State Representative Jim Moeller (Speaker Pro Tempore)
State Representative Jessyn Farrell (Assistant Majority Whip)
State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (Chair, House Environment Committee)
State Representative Luis Mosoco
State Representative Gerry Pollet (Vice Chair, House Higher Education Committee)
State Representative Chris Reykdal (Vice Chair, House Labor and Workforce Committee)
Senator Jeannie Kohl Welles
Senator Jamie Pederson
Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper
Former California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray
To learn more, or to get involved, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.