Rantz: Democrat law gives syringes and crack pipes to kids

Feb 13, 2023, 5:48 PM


Police officers check on a man who said he has been smoking fentanyl in downtown Seattle on March 14, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The so-called Democrat fix to the Washington drug crisis would give children syringes, pipes, and other drug paraphernalia. It even sets up a “work group” to explore legally supplying drugs to addicts. This would turn the government into the state’s largest drug dealer.

After the Washington state supreme court declared our felony drug possession law unconstitutional, Democrats advanced a temporary bill legalizing personal possession of all drugs. It’s directly led to a historic fatal overdose crisis. They’ve now offered a “fix” with SB 5536. It would make drug possession a gross misdemeanor with a potential maximum jail sentence of 364 days, a $5,000 fine, or both. If the addict gets treatment as part of a diversion program, they would not serve jail time.

But buried in the bill is a counterproductive measure that will only further the crisis.

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Law actively enables drug addicts

SB 5536 creates Health Engagement Hubs, enabling drug addicts to continue using.

The Hubs may be mobile or standalone structures and must provide opioid treatment options for addicts. But they must also provide “harm reduction services and supplies.” Harm reduction is a radical strategy that gives addicts tools to continue using their drug of choice. The supplies that will be passed out include clean syringes, crack pipes, and other “smoking equipment,” which typically includes steel wool to serve as a pipe filter, and rubber bands to wrap around the pipe’s mouthpiece to prevent burns.

By law, these Hubs must be “open to youth as well as adults.” This means that minors can access drug tools that keep them addicted. 

Exploring government drug dealing

Also buried in the bill is the creation of a “safe supply work group.”

The group is meant to “evaluate potential models for safe supply services and make recommendations on the inclusion of a safe supply framework in the Washington state substance use recovery services plan to provide a regulated, tested supply of controlled substances to individuals at risk of drug overdose.” In other words, move over drug cartels! The government could become the state’s largest illicit drug dealer.

The work group must include former drug addicts. This likely ensures a bias toward government-funded and distributed drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine. The argument has been that if you can supply drugs that are free from unknown substances, the addict will stay alive long enough to eventually get treatment. Only Democrats won’t force or coerce an addict into treatment. They only postpone the inevitable drug overdose, forcing these people to languish in misery even longer.

A preliminary report of their findings would be due at the end of the year, with a finalized report due Dec. 1, 2024. 

Democrats incapable of pushing drug treatment 

Radical Washington Democrats are simply incapable of offering standalone drug treatment. 

As addicts die, Democrats do little to endorse drug cessation. They view offering treatment alone as “stigmatizing” the addiction, which they argue stops people from seeking treatment. But what actually stops treatment is handing an addict a crack pipe or needle. And, if the work group is successful in promoting a safe supply model, handing out drugs to addicts will obviously only make the crisis worse.

There are some addicts who need jail time to get clean. Others need intensive addiction services, not free drug supplies. If an addict feels stigmatized when we call out their deadly decisions, so be it. I’d rather them be upset and alive than be unoffended and dead.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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