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By Roger Harnack
Whitman County Gazette 

Introduced bill elevates drug possession crimes


OLYMPIA — A bill making its way through the Legislature would make possession of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine a gross misdemeanor.

Senate Bill 5536 passed the Senate by a 28-21 vote Friday night.

The bill is designed in response to the state Supreme Court’s 2021 ruling that the state’s drug-possession law was unconstitutional.

While the bill passed the Senate, it does not go far enough to address the drug problems, Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane said Saturday.

“This bill does not go far enough to provide the leverage needed to help people get off dangerous drugs,” he...

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