Rantz: Seattle Times can’t figure out why fentanyl floods the city

Aug 30, 2023, 6:30 PM | Updated: 6:37 pm

Seattle fentanyl...

Homeless person seen on a city street. (Photo by Fatih Aktas/Getty Images)

(Photo by Fatih Aktas/Getty Images)

The Seattle Times can’t figure out why fentanyl is flooding our streets. It’s hard to justify or understand what the paper claims.

Lauren Girgis penned an article explaining how fentanyl, in particular, ends up in Seattle. But the article contains one superfluous sentence that should catch our attention: “But why and how fentanyl is showing up in force in Seattle now, after years of ravaging the East Coast, is less obvious.”

It’s less obvious how and why fentanyl is in Seattle? Seriously? Girgis and her editors are either shamelessly lying to protect their ideological bias or are so embarrassingly ignorant that it should disqualify the paper from tackling the drug crisis in the future.

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Shocking display of dishonesty or ignorance on Seattle fentanyl crisis

The left-wing newspaper glaringly omits the country’s porous border because it harms President Joe Biden and Democrats. It plays a key role in why fentanyl, which is very easy to smuggle, gets into this country. Otherwise, the article doesn’t offer new information. It’s written about two years late. 

But to claim that it’s “less obvious” to explain why drugs flood our streets is embarrassing. Perhaps Girgis and her editors moved to town within the last seven hours.

In 2018, then-King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced he would no longer charge for personal possession of drugs. An ideologue with a family connection to the drug crisis, he rejects the notion that the criminal justice should play a role in helping an addict finally get the help they need. Then, in 2021, the Washington State Supreme Court invalidated the state’s felony possession law in its Blake decision, arguing it’s unconstitutional to assume that someone in possession of drugs knew they had drugs on their person. After all, who amongst us hasn’t reached into their jean pockets to pull out an 8 Ball? Afterward, Democrat state lawmakers effectively legalized drugs.

Both Satterberg’s decision and the Democrat’s response to the Blake decision resulted in an unprecedented amount of drugs hitting Seattle.

When you legalize drugs, what do you think happens?

When you tell addicts you won’t charge for drug possession, they feel empowered to continue their deadly addiction. When you tell drug dealers their customers won’t face police pressure to turn on them, since leverage of arrest for information was no longer a valid threat, they start selling more product (while carrying less on them so, if caught, it’s merely personal possession amounts). None of this is shocking. It’s common sense.

Virtually the same script was followed in Oregon after voters passed Measure 110, which decriminalized drugs. 

There is big money in fentanyl pills, which are cheap to produce and, thanks to their size, easy to smuggle. Cartels started flooding the city with the drug because Democrat lawmakers effectively gave them permission. Soft-on-crime prosecutors and judges made it even more appealing to sell here. So, that’s what drug dealers decided to do. They took advantage of what effectively amounted to drug legalization.

Since 2018 and after the Blake decision, fatal drug overdoses exploded in King County, driven by fentanyl overdoses in Seattle. In 2018, the county experienced 394 fatal overdoses. By 2022, the county hit 1000, a record high. 2023 will exceed that record high, with 906 fatal overdoses reported as of August 30.

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Where has the Seattle Times been?

While the drug crisis worsened, The Seattle Times ignored the reasons the deaths kept stacking up, much of which was due to fentanyl.

Its reporters are unashamedly left-wing. Even a casual look at some of their reporters’ social media accounts, or their resumes as former Stranger writers, makes that clear. It makes sense that they wouldn’t take issue with policy decisions leading to the drug overdose crisis. They were likely supporters of those policies. 

But now that the drug legalization experiment failed so tragically in Washington (and Oregon), why is the Seattle Times reporting they can’t figure out why we have so many drugs here?

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The importance of an honest press

Seattle Times staff could be lying because they’re stubborn ideologues who will never criticize the Democrat policies they support. Or they’re so blinded by their ideologies that they truly can’t see the damage their policies have caused.

But I’m not sure explaining their dishonesty or ignorance matters.

The reality is the drug crisis is so bad because of Democrat decisions to legalize drugs, whether or not the Seattle Times staff want to admit it. And until we truly reverse course, more addicts will die. But it’s hard to reverse course if the city’s newspaper of record doesn’t honestly report basic facts.

Imagine the political pressure on Democrat lawmakers if more people knew policy decisions were responsible for the drug crisis. Policies can be changed.

But left-wing media outlets seldom point to policies their staff support as something responsible for the destruction. It’s part of the reason I wrote my forthcoming book, What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities. Unless citizens know which policies are to blame, they’re not able to effectively pressure politicians to reverse course. 

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). He is the author of the book “What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities.” Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle Times can’t figure out why fentanyl floods the city