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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.

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About Blanford Law:

We are no-nonsense, relentless, fair, and honest. We are great listeners instead of fast talkers, that is just who we are. More than 20 years ago, Ken began practicing law with a deeply-seeded belief that every person has the right to the best legal representation available. He built his law firm on that belief. Another belief that he strongly adheres to is his fundamental belief that clients deserve respect, with no assumptions or preconceived notions.  If you or someone you know is accused of a crime or injured as a result of the negligence of another, please have them call us at 253-720-9304 or email us