Friday, March 10, 2017
Seattle Times Makes Case For "Safe Injection Sites" For Addicts--But Warns Of Going Too Far
Earlier this year, Seattle gained national attention for its decision to open city-sponsored "safe injection sites" for heroin addicts.
The progressive Left Washington Post declared, "Seattle approved the first safe-injection site in the US."
Yesterday, the Seattle Times, in their editorial board missive, warned the State Legislature, "Don't meddle in local laws that address difficult social issues."
Apparently, the Times has some concern that conservatives in the legislature may mess up Mayor Murray's vision of nirvana.
The Washington Post, back on January 27, reported, "Officials in Seattle on Friday approved the nation's first 'safe-injection' sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic, but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year."
The Post said, "While opponents say the sites promote illegal drug use, supporters say they can keep people alive and steer them toward treatment."
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told the Post, "These sites save lives and that is our goal in Seattle/King County."
Kimberly Truong writes, "Supervised injection sites, which already exist in Europe, are essentially facilities in which people can do their drugs with clean equipment under professional supervision."
Medical doctor Joshua Lee, an addiction "expert" at New York University, says this is "the next natural step" in "'harm reduction"--- you "Wear a condom, use clean needles, and use your heroin in a safer way."
Truong says Jeff Duchin, a health officer for Seattle and King County, says, "We see this as a public health emergency---Clearly the status quo is not working..."
King County and Seattle are partnering in this new venture. Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine are leading the effort.
Duchin says, "The real goal is not to open a day spa where people can come in and have a good time and use drugs, but to engage them in treatment...They inject in a place where there's a health care worker who can save their lives if they overdose."
These centers may not become a "day spa," but they will certainly become a magnet for addicts from Seattle and beyond.
It should be noted that such sites are illegal under federal law---however, a mayor who celebrates defying federal immigration laws, will not likely exercise restraint in defying federal drug laws.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart says he supports the idea, and that his deputies will not arrest anyone going to or coming from the sites. He warned, however, that the federal government "could camp out in front of the site and arrest anyone in possession."
Does it bother you that Ed Murray, John Urquhart, and others so easily decide which laws they choose to obey and enforce, and which they will simply ignore based on their personal beliefs? And that Sheriff Urquhart's remarks even suggest warnings to help those breaking the law avoid being caught?
Will this same opportunity be given to people who are driving 85 mph on I 90 because they're late for work?
What about the kleptomaniac? Will he or she have a safe place to steal things?
Progressivism always leads to that place. The progressive becomes a law unto himself, doing what is right in his own eyes.
In 2015, 132 people died of heroin overdoses in King County. The stats are not yet out for 2016.
Yesterday, the Seattle Times editorial board warned the legislature, "Don't meddle in local laws that address difficult social issues."
They say, "There's a trend at work, and it's not a good one. The legislature---in particular, the Senate--needs to back away from an impulse to rein in Seattle" because they have more important work to do.
"Instead of meddling, lawmakers should watch and learn from King County's proposed experiment," they say.
The editorial board says, "There is a long history of tension between the legislature---bent on exercising its power to pre-empt local authority---and its 281 cities."
Most of those 281 cities voted against same-sex "marriage," however, due to the numbers and influence of Seattle and King County, so-called "same-sex marriage" became a state law.
So the editorial board is suggesting that each city should have the right to decide their own laws on these "difficult social issues," right?
Well, no. Only on some "difficult issues," like safe injection sites. The board says, "It makes sense, for example, for the state to ensure...that cities don't erode protections for LGBTQ residents."
This is a profile of political nirvana--a state of perfect happiness-- for the far Left.
If it's a secular progressive agenda item, cities are free to do what they want---even break federal law. If it is a conservative agenda item, the Seattle/King County controlled State should "ensure" what is, and is not allowed.
The Times editorial folks say, "Seattle initiatives viewed as social engineering by lawmakers from wheat country often look like reasonable responses to difficult urban problems when seen from the top of the Space Needle."
It's complicated. You people from the east side of the Cascades just don't understand.
Drug addiction is real, and it is destructive.
And speaking of needles.
I was in Zurich in 1991. Evangelist James Robison, his wife Betty, and I went to the Platzspitz, a park in Zurich---at that time known worldwide by drug addicts as "Needle Park."
We went there to share the gospel with the thousands who had traveled to the park from around the world, to live in a "safe injection site."
I have preached and established Christian churches in the darkest and sometimes most remote, demonic corners of the earth. But in my life, I have never seen greater spiritual need, greater despair, and greater emptiness than in Needle Park---thousands of hollow eyes looking for the next free, clean needle and a condom.
This was a social experiment by Zurich, but it never provided a solution.
In 1987, the Swiss and local authorities had made the decision to "allow the use and sale of drugs in the park," using clean needles provided by the state, providing medical assistance, etc.
By 1992, the social experiment was such a colossal failure that the park had to be cleared, with the addicts moved to the central part of the Letten area of the city between an unused railway station and the banks of the river Limmat.
Under intense pressure from residents, the Letten area was finally cleared and the addicts dispersed.
Switzerland now distributes medically controlled heroin, essentially concluding "there is no political cure."
The Seattle Times editorial board says, "This session, there are dozens of bills with pre-exemption ideas in both the Democratic-controlled House and Senate, with Seattle ideas being the target of most of them."
Warning Seattle to not "go too far" in their social experimentation, the Times board says, "But Olympia should tread lightly and give cities the capacity to be laboratories of democracy."
Washington's own Kurt Kobain searched for "nirvana" and that did not end well.
Neither will Seattle and King County's search for it, if they continue down this path.
Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant.