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Published 2 months ago

Seattle City Council OKs law to prosecute for having and using drugs such as fentanyl in public

  • The Seattle City Council has passed a controlled substance law. This law makes the possession and public use of drugs such as fentanyl a gross misdemeanor. The measure also prioritizes outreach, health treatment programs, and other alternatives to arrest.
  • The law allows police officers to arrest individuals for using drugs in public if they are deemed a threat to others. Supporters believe that enforcing the law will help improve public safety during the ongoing drug crisis. However, opponents argue that the law could revive the "war on drugs" and disproportionately affect low-income individuals and people of color.
  • The new Washington state law, which provides $44 million for investments in treatment services, influenced Seattle's decision to adopt the controlled substance law. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell plans to issue an executive order to establish police department training and track the progress of the law's implementation.
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