On Thursday, Washington State legislators unveiled a landmark reform to authorize possession of low amounts of all drug substances and expand treatment for folks with drug use disorders. This move comes during the growing trend in America where the country is stepping away from a crime-regulation model of drug substance enforcement and treating the concern as a public health issue.
The recent Washington HB 1499 bill that’s sponsored by Representative Kirsten Harris-Tally and Lauren Harris stated that substance disorder is one of the many health conditions for arrests of people exhibiting symptoms. It adds the categorizing substance disorder as a crime through incarceration and arrests further destabilizes and disrupts these individual’s lives.
The reform would expunge criminal penalties for possessing ‘ recreational use amounts’ of drugs and mandate Washington state’s HCA to devise a plan. The plan will ensure rapid, continual and widespread access to a comprehensive care continuum is availed to all folks with substance misuse disorder.
Voters in neighboring Oregon approved a similar reform during November’s election. That legislation came into effect this week.
On Thursday, Washington bill’s sponsors and activists at Treatment First Washington discussed the measure during a press conference.
Davis asserted at the occasion that recovery is founded on hope. He added that individuals recover when brought in rather than cast out.
The limits of the proposal, called Pathways and Recovery Act, haven’t been specified. They will be ascertained by an HCA panel before 22nd September. Prosecutors, public offenders and law enforcement will be represented in the commission.
Harris-Talley said that they’ll create a plan together to provide improved pretreatment outreach to allow folks seeking health care to get assistance in finding it.
The initiative would be applied on all controlled drug substances, prescription pharmaceutical and counterfeit substances. Possession with the intention to sell and wide-scope production of controlled substances would still be illegal according to the proposal.