Legislature passes ‘workable’ drug-possession compromise

May 16, 2023

OLYMPIA…The Washington State Legislature passed a compromise bill on the possession of hard drugs such as fentanyl today during a one-day special session. Senate Republican Leader John Braun and House Republican Leader Drew Stokesbary provided the following comments in response:

“This bill isn’t perfect, but it is a strong step in the right direction and addresses major shortcomings in the law that has proven to be such a failure these past two years. This policy will provide opportunities to those who seek treatment for drug addiction and hold accountable those who refuse it. It will help our loved ones and neighbors get the treatment they need to survive. It was disappointing that the Legislature couldn’t get to this point in the 105-day legislative session, especially because of how many people are overdosing and dying in the street. But we applaud everyone involved in the negotiations for their dedication to finding a workable solution. Public safety has been the top priority for Republicans this session. Allowing the legalization of hard drugs was never an option for us. Those with substance-use disorder and the people who love them and pray for their recovery needed this bill. We simply had to do better.”