Clark County criminal justice and law enforcement officials are managing the impacts of a recent Washington Supreme Court ruling that found the state’s felony drug possession law to be unconstitutional.

Clayton Mosher.

Sociologist Clay Mosher, who analyzes crime trends and teaches criminology at Washington State University Vancouver, noted that the justices’ opinion makes explicit reference to social and racial justice issues, and the collateral consequences of drug convictions.

“The bottom line for me, if this decision sticks … it is going to have a significant impact. The (American Civil Liberties Union) notes that between 2015 and 2019, there were more than 60,000 arrests for ‘low-level drug possession and drug equipment violations’ in the state. That is obviously a significant number of arrests,” Mosher said.

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