AUDIO: Padden believes drug-possession bill passed by Legislature not strong enough to deal with state’s drug crisis

May 16, 2023

A state Senator says the hard drug-possession bill passed by the Legislature in a special session isn’t strong enough to deal with the state’s drug crisis.

The legislation made possession a gross misdemeanor.

Senator Mike Padden, the ranking Republican on the Senate Law and Justice Committee, says the threat of a felony is more likely to persuade drug offenders to undergo treatment.

The Spokane Valley Republican says the punishment under the measure is basically a hybrid between a gross misdemeanor and a misdemeanor – not an effective deterrent for offenders.

Padden says, while he’s glad the legislature passed some sort of law to increase penalties, this doesn’t go far enough to be effective.