WA Governor - Bill Action
(May 13, 2019) - SB 5605

SB 5605 – “Concerning misdemeanor marijuana offense convictions.”

  • See Cannabis Observer’s summaries of SB 5605's committee report cutoff, opposite house cutoff, and sine die cutoff.
  • On Monday May 13th, Governor Inslee signed the bill. It joins Chapter 400 of the 2019 Session Laws with an effective date of July 28th. See the signing ceremony’s official photos and read the Bill as Passed Legislature and the Final Bill Report.
  • The Governor cited his office’s Marijuana Justice Initiative which he established earlier this year to offer special pardons for cannabis misdemeanors which are no longer criminal acts, and said the bill built on his effort. He added that the law was an “important way to reduce disproportionate impacts of sentencing on communities of color.” After outlining the bill’s impact, Inslee observed, “this is a matter of fairness and justice. We shouldn’t be punishing people for something that’s no longer illegal in the state.” He thanked the sponsor, Senator Joe Nguyen, along with Representative Joe Fitzgibbon. Nguyen attended the signing along with Senator Bob Hasegawa, Stanford, and a large crowd of supporters who applauded Inslee for signing the bill (video).
  • An appropriation for the legislation in the proposed budget under Section 402(5) gives the Washington State Patrol (WSP) $200,000 for implementation split between FY 2020 and FY 2021. This is less than half the $453,000 WSP requested to implement the bill in the final fiscal note. That fiscal note was published on February 17th prior to an amendment to the bill which substantially expanded its potential impact. The fiscal note also includes indeterminate costs for local jurisdictions and Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts. As outlined in our last executive action update, the bill includes a “null and void clause” (Section 2) which necessitates appropriation of funding by June 30th for the law to go into effect.