As we have previously discussed, the Supreme Court of Washington declared the possession statute unconstitutional as it lacks a mens rea requirement The simple possession statute states “It is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance . . . .” RCW 69.50.4013(1).  This historically, was read as strict liability.

In response, the City of Marysville has changed their ordinance adding the word “knowingly” to its drug possession ordinance.  Simple drug possession in Marysville is now a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

It remains to be seen how the City of Marysville intends to enforce this.  The City of Marysville would have to cover the costs of prosecution and of jail in these cases.

If you have been convicted of possession of a controlled substance and are interested in looking at a vacate please call us at 253-720-9304, or email at