Dori: We only look through the lens of what’s best for the heroin addict

Nov 13, 2019, 6:04 PM
A Seattle Police officer, center, looks on as workers prepare to clear belongings and shelter materials from a large homeless encampment known as "The Field," Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in SoDo. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has reinforced an apparent belief that heroin should be legal.

Hard drugs have effectively been legal for a year in King County, thanks to the LEAD program. Satterberg said on our show that he was going to decriminalize every drug, allowing people to have up to a gram of drugs without facing criminal charges. Instead, they are offered rehab and other treatment services. Snohomish County has implemented a similar policy, allowing up to 2 grams of drugs without prosecution.

What are the consequences? We have seen homeless heroin addicts from around the country flocking to our region.

KOMO 4 News had a piece that said that Satterberg is one of many far-left prosecutors across America who has implemented policies that would appear to decriminalize drugs. They look to the country of Portugal for inspiration in drug policies. The report noted that after Portugal took a medical, rather than a criminal, approach to drug use, drug-related crimes in the country have dropped by 80 percent.

Dori: Prolific offenders come here for drugs, but Satterberg says we can’t prosecute possession

Hold up. Drug-related crimes have dropped 80 percent? Well, when you stop prosecuting drug crimes, of course they drop drastically.

Here’s the problem with the approach of Dan Satterberg and the approach all of these other far-left prosecutors — they say that it’s better for the heroin addict to go to a hospital than jail. I understand and agree that that is better for the addict.

But walk around Seattle. Look at the humanity strewn about on tarps and on cardboard boxes. Is it better for the community? Look at the fact that we have such a high property crime rate, one of the highest in the U.S. Is it better for the homeowners and apartment renters and car owners?

When the approach of government is nothing but, “What is best for the heroin addict?” that does not take into account that these policies are what is worst for the homeowners, the workers, the taxpayers, the residents, the contributing members of society. Viewing the city through the eyes of the heroin addicts and criminals ignores the reality of feces on the streets, back doors kicked in, car windows smashed even when nothing is visible, and bicycles stolen from storage lockers at apartment buildings. The reality is, this region has gone dramatically downhill.

It’s happening around the country, too. In New York City, a homeless guy randomly picked up and threw a 6-year-old boy down onto concrete, sending him to intensive care. In Hollywood, a homeless man defecated into a bucket and threw the bucket’s contents onto a woman getting in her car. She was rushed to the hospital because deadly diseases like typhoid fever, which has spread in L.A.’s homeless community, can be spread from exposure to feces; she has to be re-tested for disease every three months and says she still suffers from PTSD from the incident. In San Francisco, the man who has just been elected district attorney has sworn that he will not prosecute crimes like public urination or sleeping in tents on public property. In Denver, a business owner has to fight the city in court because he is being forced to, at risk to his health and the health of his employees, clean up feces and needles outside of his business.

This is the trend-line, in Seattle and beyond. We are enabling the absolute worst behavior because it is best for the drug addicts. And now we’ve got the most radical city council in our city’s history. Council members want to end homeless encampment sweeps. What kind of activities take place in homeless camps? There are rapes, murders, and sex trafficking of women and girls as young as 13. By leaving those camps alone, we will allow people to live in conditions that no human being should have to endure.

We should try to help the heroin addicts. We should give them medical treatment and aid them however we can in turning around their lives. What we should not do is turn a blind eye as they slowly kill themselves and make life miserable for the entire community.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: We only look through the lens of what’s best for the heroin addict