JASON RANTZ

Rantz: I visited Vancouver’s devastating, dangerous safe-injection neighborhood

Oct 31, 2017, 7:05 AM | Updated: 7:29 am
judge, safe injection...
(Patrick Kovarik, Pool via AP)
(Patrick Kovarik, Pool via AP)

Seattle will get a safe injection site. Activists in and out of city hall do not care about the will of King County voters. They’re convinced this is a good idea. It’s not. It’s dangerous, it’s disturbing, and it took me 10 minutes in Vancouver to realize this.

RELATED: Dwindling options for Seattle CHEL site

The vast majority of safe injection site proponents haven’t visited the Vancouver neighborhood that hosts Insite. They should. It’s frightening and has no place in Seattle.

I visited Vancouver for leg one of the MLS western conference semifinals. On a walk around the city before the game, I decided to visit the site of “North America’s first legal supervised injection site.”

It was about 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29. The immediate area around East Hastings Street is a one-stop shop to feed your heroin addiction. I witnessed one heroin deal. It was done right in the open, without any concern. The exchange was quick but casual. Dozens of homeless people laid about, nearly lifeless, some staring down the street, a couple playing with mini-vaporizers, while others walked around like zombies — dazed and meandering.

Litter is everywhere. The blocks around Insite felt dangerous. Some tourists were harassed by the homeless. I was followed by one, who kept asking me why about a dozen people were lined up behind a truck. I didn’t know. I imagine it was an outreach organization handing out much-needed supplies.

There is no room in Seattle — or King County — for a safe injection site. It will kill businesses. It will make us unsafe. And it will keep people addicted to heroin. I also suspect it would normalize heroin dealing. Seattle city officials like Councilmember Mike O’Brien already want less enforcement on lawlessness, particularly as it relates to the homeless. If we effectively legalize heroin, how are we supposed to enforce drug dealing laws? If the argument is that safe injections sites are compassionate, then wouldn’t it be equally compassionate to allow them to purchase the heroin to use at the safe injection sites?

Safe injection sites stop the spread of diseases when you take used needles out of the equation. It also stops deadly overdoses. These are valid reasons to entertain the concept, but it’s not foolproof and is less effective than successfully treating the addiction. And proponents overstate the benefits.

These benefits hold true so long as people use the sites. They do not stop an overdose when the heroin addict is using in Northgate or Ballard or the University District, unable or unwilling to travel to the one or two safe injection sites in the city. Some will start camping out around the safe injection site, as they do around Insite. Which several blocks of Seattle will O’Brien or his colleagues give to addicts? I suppose they won’t set up shop in city hall, in the heart of Downtown Seattle where there are scores of people who would surely use this service.

It’s really easy for activists to support safe injection sites, not truly understanding what this will do to the neighborhood that hosts it. I don’t think most of these activists care to experience it. It’s an easy bit of virtue signaling to tell the world you support safe injection sites because you want to show how much compassion you claim to feel about those dealing with addiction. The problem is this kind of virtue signaling not just hurts the people you aim to help — after all, safe injection sites don’t treat the addiction — but you’ll be devastating neighborhoods in the process.

This would be a blight on any Seattle neighborhood. This part of Vancouver is a disaster and these people are in desperate need of help, not a safe space to shoot up, judgment-free. They need 100 percent subsidized on-demand treatment. No one should live like this and no city should tolerate it.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Everett homeless camping, no sit no lie, Snohomish County...
KTTH staff

Councilmember: Snohomish County sales tax increase getting ‘rushed with minimal transparency’

Snohomish County Council could soon pass a 0.1% sales tax increase, as part of a process Councilmember Nate Nehring says is littered with issues.
2 days ago
WSU...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WSU amplifies claim that farmers markets, food charity are ‘white supremacy’ in action

Washington State University is amplifying claims that farmers markets and food charities are examples of "white supremacy" and "white dominant culture."
3 days ago
Kshama Sawant recall debate...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: There’s only one Kshama Sawant recall result that truly matters

Socialist Seattle City Council firebrand Kshama Sawant faces voters on Dec. 7 for her recall election. There's only one result that tells us something.
4 days ago
teacher...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle-area teacher recorded during vulgar, anti-police Kyle Rittenhouse rant

A teacher in the Northshore School District was recorded during a vulgar and one-sided rant about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
5 days ago
Kent Mayor...
KTTH staff

Kent mayor connects string of recent shootings to King County’s ‘lax prosecution of drug crimes’

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph discusses how a recent state supreme court ruling has impeded King County's ability to prosecute drug crimes.
5 days ago
schools...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle School Board hides findings that its members harassed Black staff

Two Seattle Public School board directors who claim to be anti-racist progressives were found guilty of harassing, intimidating, and bullying Black staff.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Rantz: I visited Vancouver’s devastating, dangerous safe-injection neighborhood