Initiative 1922 = free needles for addicts
May 18, 2022
As you all well know, Washington state is currently dealing with a homelessness crisis along with increased crime. The last thing the state should do is decriminalize drug possession (and use), which would ensure that more people become homeless and commit more petty crime, while drug addicts will come here from other parts of the country.
But that’s exactly what Initiative 1922 would do, which is why voters should adamantly reject it.
Much of the homelessness crisis is driven by drug addicts whose substance abuse problems make them incapable of caring for themselves. The most compassionate way of dealing with that is to connect them with services where they can be treated and not encourage them to use a deadly substance. If they are permanently incapable of taking care of themselves, then there should be long-term facilities where they can be cared for, not on the streets surrounded by toxic enablers who use their personal crises to gain political power or to dip into the public coffers.
I-1922, which is currently gathering signatures, specifically decriminalizes street possession of fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin, and although proponents claim it helps addicts by using marijuana tax revenue to provide assistance, that help is done under “harm reduction services” that include clean drug needles.
In other words, your tax dollars could be used to give drug addicts clean needles as they shoot up on the street.
The reality is our drug laws aren’t enforced, anyways. However, that’s one of the problems. Making that nonenforcement official will just encourage more drug abuse and signal to addicts in other parts of the country to come here. The last thing this state needs are more people destroying their lives with the government’s blessing and assistance and on taxpayer’s dime.
Spread the Word!
Warn your friends and family that I-1922 would be terrible for Seattle and make the homeless and crime problem worse.
In addition to drug abuse, I-1922 would inevitably lead to more of the crime that has brought Seattle national attention.
Drug addicts that can’t keep steady jobs and land on the street inevitably steal or rob to get their next fix, and the longer it takes the more desperate and violent they may become.
And this isn’t a “we need to pass it to find out whether it will work” initiative. Oregon voters already approved a similar policy that took effect early last year.
The initial results?
Less than one percent of addicts cited for drug possession sought help when offered it; or, put differently, 99 percent of those addicts refused addiction recovery services.
Meanwhile, Oregon overdose deaths increased by 41 percent between 2020-2021.
Herald and News notes the connection between lax drug enforcement in Oregon and increased trafficking activity:
Local police have made a number of recent fentanyl related arrests including drivers transporting pills on Interstate 5. Fentanyl pills have also been present at other drug busts involving meth, heroin and in some instances illegal marijuana grows. Much of the fentanyl transported into California and the Pacific Northwest comes from Mexico and China with ties to cartels and organized crime syndicates.
If you run a drug cartel or traffic in drugs, I-1922 is a great way to ensure a never-ending supply of customers to replace those that overdose. But if you’re a law-abiding citizen who wants safe streets and low crime, the initiative is worse than useless. It’s dangerous.
Some might argue that it’s unproductive to arrest people for possessing drugs because it’s a victimless crime, but this myopic viewpoint ignores the bigger picture. They might also point to the decriminalization of recreational marijuana as proof this won’t happen, but this is a classic apple to orange comparison. For one, the entire process from growing, selling, buying, and possessing was legalized simultaneously, not piecemeal. I-1922 would only decriminalize possession, while the drug itself is still illegal to manufacture, transport, and sell to users.
Also, recreational marijuana is not a comparatively deadly substance; 287 lethal overdoses were recorded nationally in 2014, and most of those involved mixture of other drugs.
In contrast, the CDC reports that last year 128,632 people died nationally from meth, cocaine, and fentanyl overdoses, the same three drugs I-1922 would allow addicts to posses.
Aside from its direct effects, I-1922 would also signal to drug cartels, dealers, and users that Washington is a safe place for them to engage in their activity, while the negative social impacts will be borne by ordinary people who have to subsidize this behavior one way or the other.
Either way, this won’t make Washington and it’s citizens safe.
Washington should learn from Oregon’s blunder and reject I-1922 if it makes the November ballot. Warn your friends and family that I-1922 would be terrible for Seattle and make the homeless and crime problem worse.