Seattle City Council Chambers were stormed by activists shouting, “You have blood on your hands!” During a discussion of a proposed law to ban the possession and use of illegal drugs.
Presumably. drug addicts will die if they can’t light up or shoot up on city buses, where drivers report getting sick from fentanyl smoke. Or get high while lying in the middle of a sidewalk. Or overdose in city parks.
Seattle is looking to return illegal drugs to the criminal code in order to join the civilized world. Police have greater latitude in treating addicts.
According to KING 5 Councilmember Andrew Lewis, “I am hoping we will see a significant rise in the number of people who are able leave the streets, get better, and take advantage services.” “I hope people will be held accountable for those that refuse to take advantage of these services, and continue to disrupt public services on our streets because they don’t use them,” said Councilmember Andrew Lewis to KING 5.
It is also not working because the “diversion programs” are mandated by state, not the addict.
There is disagreement. Even when arresting someone does not have racial implications for the person arrested, there is still a fear.
We have a bill that is not effective. It adds racial harm and false promises at a time when people are in desperate need of answers. I would even go so far as to say this bill is performative.
Seattle faces an overdose crisis, so any measures taken to stop people from dying will be beneficial.
The Council also considered “quality-of-life” issues that had been absent in the public discussion on drug use for many decades.
Maren Costa and Rob Saka expressed similar sentiments. Maren is an environmentalist who will be replacing Herbold when her term ends on the city council. He stated that families should be able visit city parks without seeing drug use. It would also be reasonable to expect that the city is concerned about those who are dealing with addiction.
King County has had 761 overdoses related to fentanyl this year. Data from the Public Health Department shows that this year’s fentanyl deaths have already exceeded those of last year.
This bill is not a panacea. Its supporters did not present it that way. Despite its long overdueness the measure should be able to help some addicts receive the help they need.