Listeners to the Morning News on KIT have heard County Prosecutor Joe Brusic talk about the legal, financial and bureaucratic nightmare created by the Supreme Court's decision to throw out all the drug possession convictions in Washington.

In a recent post here, "In a narrow 5-4 decision, the justices....ultimately concluded that lawmakers had been aware of the hole in the statute for many years, but decided not to change it. The whole law, therefore, was unconstitutional, meaning every case that involved drug possession must be reexamined......Possible legal implications include possible resentencing; parole violators may have records cleared; fines may need refunding and more" . The policy director of the Washington State Association of Counties says it could amount to at least a $100 million dollar cost.

This week that lawmakers approved Senate Bill 5476 that would reinstate criminal penalties for drug possession.  According to the Associated Press, the version that passed Thursday brings back criminal penalties for drug possession but instead of being considered as felonies, those criminal infractions would now be treated as gross misdemeanors.

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