Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson offered the following statement on criminal penalties for simple drug possession:

"This is Washington’s moment to overhaul a broken system and end the failed war on drugs. Criminalizing simple drug possession exacerbates racial disparities. Moreover, it continues our failed criminal justice response to a public health challenge. It’s time for a new approach. Public health problems require public health solutions — including making significant new investments in treatment that expand our current system. The Legislature now has a unique opportunity to reject criminal penalties for non-commercial drug possession. Let’s focus our resources on treatment and protecting the public from serious and violent crime."


The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.


Media Contact:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov

General contacts: Click here