The chief sponsor of a King County initiative that seeks to stop safe injection sites before they begin says it will encourage even more drug users to move to the area.
“They will have to legalize possession,” Joshua Freed told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
Freed, a Bothell city council member, has spearheaded the effort to ban injection sites (aka safe consumption sites). The initiative that would do that, I-27, received enough signatures to make it on the ballot.
“I don’t think I have the votes on Monday to put it on the November ballot, and that’s quite sad,” Councilmember Kathy Lambert said.
Backers of the initiative say February may be too late with some pushing to open the by the end of the year.
I-27 aims to ban safe injection sites in King County. The county currently has two sites planned — one in Seattle, and one at an undetermined location. Supporters of safe injection sites argue that they will provide medical attention to addicts without the fear of being arrested for using illegal drugs. But considerable opposition to safe injection sites mounted in the form of I-27. Cities in King County have also preemptively passed resolutions banning the sites.
Several city councils have voted to ban the injection sites in the past few months. Kent and Renton were the latest to say no.
Professor and drug-abuse researcher Caleb Banta-Green told KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis that injections sites would only help the county’s drug epidemic.
“The need is clearly there,” he said. “And I would be very surprised if one of these is put in a place and we saw horrible outcomes — because we haven’t seen horrible outcomes in the dozens of other facilities that have been researched around the world.”
Listen to the entire interview with Freed here.