Richland's newer public drug use ordinance was tested on Wednesday.

Two suspects arrested for public drug use

Thursday, Richland Police were alerted to a pair of individuals in a truck near Queensgate and Truman Ave. on the side of the road. Both were slumped over and when officers arrived, the two showed obvious signs of drug use.

They also had drug paraphernalia with them, an on-scene investigation confirmed the drug issue. Richland, like many communities, recently passed a new public drug use ordinance that makes it at least a misdemeanor. This was done because the legislature, at that time, had failed to pass a drug bill to replace the one expiring July 1st.

The temporary bill was a 'fix' for the 2021 State Supreme Court Blake Decision that basically legalized possession (and use) of hard drugs and narcotics. Now that a drug bill was passed during a special session in May, there is a uniform law for all 39 counties.

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Richland Police used a patrol car to pin the truck in place, the subjects were secured, arrested, and the pair will be charged under the new Dangerous Drugs in Public ordinance.  The actual rule reads as follows:

"RMC 9.09.010, Use of Dangerous Drugs in Public. “It is unlawful for any person to intentionally use any dangerous drug in a public place, except as now or hereafter authorized or expressly permitted by the laws of the state or except upon the written or oral order or prescription of a physician, surgeon, dentist, or other medical professional licensed to practice in the state and legally authorized to prescribe controlled substances.”

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