Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Washington Supreme Court Strikes Down Statute Criminalizing Possession of a Controlled Substance

April 2021 Bar Bulletin

By Daniel F. Shickich and Raymond L. Delos Reyes

On February 25, 2021, in State v. Blake,1 the Washington State Supreme Court held RCW 69.50.4013(1) to be unconstitutional. Prior to that ruling, RCW 69.50.4013(1) criminalized the possession of a controlled substance. In light of the Blake case, RCW 69.50.4013(1) is now void, meaning there is no Washington statute criminalizing or penalizing individuals for possession of a controlled substance. As such, law enforcement may no longer premise reasonable suspicion to detain or probable cause to search or arrest based solely on a violation of RCW 69.50.4013(1). The decision also calls into question...

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