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Statement from Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim on State of Washington V. Blake
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 1, 2021
Jessie Knudsen, Community Engagement Specialist (360) 239-3445

Statement on State of Washington V. Blake

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Washington State Supreme Court overturned the state’s felony drug possession law in the case of State of Washington v. Blake. The law was ruled unconstitutional because it did not require proof that a person knowingly possessed drugs to be convicted. 

The result of this decision is that those who are in possession of an illegal drug cannot be charged with a crime under Washington State law. Other drug-related crimes, including possession with intent to deliver, manufacturing and delivery of control substances, and possession of drug paraphernalia remain unchanged by this ruling. 

In response to the Supreme Court’s action, the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office immediately secured the release of those who were in jail awaiting trial for a drug possession charge.  We are now moving forward to seek the release of individuals held in custody after being convicted of drug possession. Deputy prosecuting attorneys will be reviewing outstanding warrants and moving to quash those issued in possession cases. 

People with convictions for unlawful possession of controlled substances in Thurston County should reach out to their defense counsel for information regarding next steps. Thurston County Public Defense can be reached at (360) 754-4897, or by emailing using the subject line, "VACATE MY CONVICTION."

Thank you,

Jon Tunheim 
Prosecuting Attorney