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Spokane Blake Fix Law Leads to 80 Arrests, Citations in Three weeks

Timothy Schumann | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Spokane police have been more active in arresting individuals for public drug use, with 80 people already cited or arrested for open drug use, according to the Spokane Police Department.


These arrests come in the three weeks following the passage of Emergency Ordinance C36386, adding Title 10 Chapter 76 to the Spokane Municipal Code titled “Use and Possession of Controlled or Counterfeit Substances or Legend Drugs.”

Passage of this ordinance in a 7-0 city council vote, as previously reported by The Center Square, gave the Spokane Police Department the authority to arrest individuals for public drug use, though they do have the discretion to cite and release.

They do not have the authority to arrest for simple possession, but that will be changing soon.

The Blake Fix passed by the state legislature on May 16th will give officers that authority, and the crime will be classified as a gross misdemeanor. However, these laws will not go into effect until July 1st of this year.

In a recent stop including body cam footage released to Spokane’s KREM2, an officer can be seen asking a man detained and eventually arrested for public use, “Do you want to get clean?”

The man answered in the affirmative, and the officer replied “That’s something we can help you with, we have lots of resources here.”


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