Washington State Mulls Bill to Defelonize Simple Drug Possession

Arrests for simple drug possession would no longer be a felony if state lawmakers approve a measure that received its first hearing Tuesday at the state legislature.

Proponents of the bill say the war on drugs has needlessly ruined lives.

Sponsors of the bill (HB 2116) claim two million people have been locked in prison for simply possessing a controlled substance. And after these people have served their time, they emerge with a chance at very few jobs. It’s all because of the label “felon.”

Dawn Darington, who was convicted of a drug charge, was close to getting a job as a van driver.

“Went through the whole process,” she said. “Checked my references, everything, Finally get to the point where they say, ‘We can’t hire you. You can’t get a CDL (professional license) because you’re a felon.'”

Jody Beery says her Eagle Scout son was helping a medically fragile friend take medical marijuana and was arrested for a felony.

“His whole life, his whole demeanor, everything changed,” she said. “Everything he had been working for, the goals that he had talked to me about his whole life. Everything changed.”

– Read the entire article at KOMO News.