by Luna Reyna
After over an hour of public comment, the Seattle City Council voted, 6 in favor, 3 opposed, to pass legislation that many argue is a regressive and harmful step back to the war on drugs era, while others claim it will help mitigate officer bias and improve access to substance use disorder care.
Continue reading Seattle City Council Passes Controversial Street Drug Legislation Amid Concerns Over Punishment Versus Treatment Options
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The Seattle City Council narrowly rejected Councilmember Andrew Lewis’ proposal to fast-track a bill empowering City Attorney Ann Davison to prosecute people for drug possession and public use, voting to allow the bill to go through the regular committee process. The impact of the vote is that the Council will take up the bill after they return from the regular August recess, allowing Council staff the time to draft amendments and analyze the latest version of the legislation.
Continue reading Council Declines to Fast-Track Law Empowering City Attorney To Prosecute Drug Users
by Michael “Renaissance”
Simply doing anything because something needs to be done is often the enemy of doing the right thing. People are dying because of fentanyl. People are also being swallowed by addiction. However, adding laws that criminalize drug use, expanding the prison industrial complex with laws that lead police to stop-and-frisk and are used to target Black and Brown folx, all under the pretense of helping people struggling with addiction, is a failed strategy.
Continue reading OPINION | The War on Drugs Failed: Will Seattle Choose a Losing Strategy?
by Lauryn Bray
The Seattle City Council recently released a memorandum announcing that the Council will discuss and possibly vote on Council Bill (CB) 120586, an “ordinance relating to the possession and public use of controlled substances,” on June 6. The vote will determine if the provisions introduced in a new state law will be adopted into Seattle Municipal Code, giving the City Attorney’s Office (CAO) jurisdiction to prosecute cases of known possession or use of illegal or controlled substances.
Continue reading Proposed Council Bill Would Allow City Attorney’s Office to Prosecute Drug Use and Possession
by Jude Ahmed
Gov. Jay Inslee called a special session of the Legislature to begin on May 16. Among other things, the special session addressed the expiration of a current law that makes drug possession a misdemeanor. Ultimately, the State passed Senate Bill 5536, which raises the penalty for drug possession to a gross misdemeanor and newly criminalizes public use as a gross misdemeanor.
Continue reading OPINION | In Special Session, Lawmakers Are Hiding Behind a False Moral Imperative to Justify the War on Drugs