7th District Rep. Maycumber Seeks Re-Criminalization of Drug Possessions in WA
A bill that's been introduced in the Washington House of Representatives is seeking to restore some of the prior language related to the state's drug possession laws.
House Bill 1415 (HB 1415) was introduced by 7th District Rep. Jacqueline Maycumber (R), who says the legislation is straight forward but highly impactful.
"This bill is simple and it's a one-word fix which changes the state's language back to someone 'knowingly' possessing drugs. Then it's criminalized again and the interventions when being picked up by police really starts people who need help with addiction into drug court, therapeutic court or some kind of rehab(ilitation)."
Changes to Washington's laws several years ago led to the decriminalization of most drug possession instances in the state.
Maycumber believes most cases of drug possession in Washington should at least involve misdemeanor charges, which in turn would allow law enforcement to make arrests that can then aid those who are addicted to drugs in getting access to critically-needed support services.
"I think we can all agree that this law, as it stands, is not humane - to allow people to suffer on the streets. This is not the best thing for everyone. And being charged with a crime could be the best intervention for many people. Instead of waiting for someone to go to rehab(ilitation) themselves which, when it comes to addiction, is not very likely."
HB 1415 has a total of eight co-sponsors, including two Democrats in 24th District Rep. Michael Chapman and 30th District Rep. Kristine Reeves.
The bill has been referred to the legislature's Committee on Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry where it awaits its first hearing.