In a statement released last week, state Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, announced Washington state would join Mississippi and British Columbia in July as the only three jurisdictions to ban the private use of pill presses.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1209 into law on Thursday, April 20.
According to Griffey, pill presses are being used to make fake Percocet and other drugs that have flooded the black market in Washington state and are driving the state’s rising overdose rate.
Griffey represents the 35th Legislative District, which includes parts of Tenino, Rochester and other areas of South Thurston County.
HB 1209, sponsored by state Rep. Mari Leavitt, D-University Place, will make possession or sale of a pill press outside of legitimate medical uses a class C felony in Washington punishable by five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
"It is a victory in our otherwise inadequate plan to fight the out-of-control drug crisis in Washington state that is killing people every day, often our children and the most vulnerable in our communities. … And now, they are targeting our youngest, most vulnerable — our children, making these pills in rainbow colors to look like children's cereal to market to kids with deadly consequences," said Griffey, who co-sponsored the bill.