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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Stop the King County plan to promote opium use

The opioid epidemic is taking thousands of lives across our country. According to the Center for Disease Control, prescription opioids and heroin take more lives every day than car accidents.

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Last year King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray assembled a task force to recommend how King County can address this problem. Among many suggestions was a proposal to create two-one in Seattle and one outside the city-“safe” sites for users to inject heroin and other illegal drugs.

These sites would be their first of their kind in the United States, but to understand how they impact communities, one must only look to Vancouver, B.C., home to the only heroin injection site in North America.

The statistics are startling. Overdoses in British Columbia are up over 490% since they opened their injection site, and they fail to get 98.5% of the users off lethal narcotics. Vancouver police estimate over 5,000 intravenous users live within a few blocks of the site’s neighborhood, where needles are littered all over the streets.

Is this an ethical way for King County to spend taxpayer dollars?

Many don’t believe it is, which is why a group called Safe King County, led by Bothell City Councilman Joshua Freed, have launched I-27 to ban heroin injection sites. They believe the money we’d spend on operating these sites-which costs $3 million per year in Vancouver-would be better spent on proven, compassionate solutions that will get people off drugs and save their lives.
I-27 is in the signature gathering stage, and is open to any registered King County voter. If you feel as I do that these sites are wrong for our neighborhoods, you can ask Safe King County to mail you a petition form here.

If you don’t live in King County, you should still be concerned about these sites. Like any other King County proposal, it’s only a matter of time until advocates try to build heroin injection sites statewide.

Donate today to help Safe King County gather enough signatures and stop heroin injection sites from popping up in communities across the state.

To qualify I-27 for the November ballot, Safe King County needs 47,443 signatures. When I talked to Joshua earlier this week, he told me they already have 8,000 signatures and have mailed out over 300 petitions to people that have requested one from their website.

The support is truly impressive, and if you’d like to have your voice be heard, visit their website and request a petition. Together we can push King County toward real solutions that will save lives.


Rob McKenna

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