OLYMPIA, WA - On Thursday the Washington Supreme Court ruled the state's drug possession law unconstitutional.
The new landmark ruling comes after a Spokane woman was arrested for meth found on her while wearing a friend’s pair of pants. The woman challenged her drug conviction and won. With a ruling of 5 to 4 the state's supreme court says it’s now unconstitutional to arrest and charge someone with unintentional simple drug possession, or if the person was not aware they had drugs on them.
Richard Lenchich, who argued the case before the courts, told the Seattle times "the court correctly recognized the injustice of convicting people for innocent conduct. While the decision cannot rectify the harm this law caused to so many communities, particularly communities of color, it at least puts an end to it."
Lt. Chad Stephens with the Yakima Police Department says although police on patrol can no longer arrest for simple drug possession, or investigate for it, "we can certainly still arrest for narcotics paraphernalia and possession of narcotics with the intent to deliver it."
Stephens also says the changes are far-reaching, "the prosecutor's office are going to be very busy as well because they’ll have to go back in time and change sentencing- so it’s far reaching," he told NBC Right Now.
Yakima police also want the public to know any illegal drugs are still considered contraband under state and federal laws, and drugs will be confiscated, even if the person is not arrested for having them.