Suspect arrested, police officer finds drugs during the search.

The Blake Refund Program and Washington’s 39 Flavors of Rabbit Hole

“Welcome to my rabbit hole, Colin,” Ali Hohman said, “where dreams go to die.” Hohman is mostly joking—mostly. She’s the director of legal services for the Washington Defender Association (WDA), where much of her recent work has been focused on issues arising from the Washington Supreme Court’s earth-shattering decision in State v. Blake. In 2021, a court majority ruled that Washington’s strict liability drug possession statute is unconstitutional. That ruling was like dropping a thermonuclear bomb on almost a half-century of felony drug policy. It immediately prompted hurried statements from law enforcement agencies, a stop-gap measure by the Legislature in 2021, and a renewed legislative correction earlier this year that required a special session to finalize.

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