How Seattle liberals fight heroin epidemic: Give addicts ‘safe place’ to inject

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray supports proposed "safe sites" for heroin users. (Source: YouTube snip)
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray supports proposed “safe sites” for heroin users. (Source: YouTube snip)

Self-styled “progressives” in Seattle, Washington are patting themselves on the back for embracing the recommendation from a task force created to fight what the Seattle Times is calling a “heroin epidemic” but the proposed solution could worsen the problem, critics say.

The recommendation: Creating “public, supervised sites where addicts can use heroin.”

Here’s the bad news: It’s a first-of-its-kind program anywhere in the country. If its backers declare it to be “successful” (who would ever admit that it failed?) watch for other liberals around the country to conasid the same thing.

Not surprisingly, the idea was quickly embraced by liberal Democrat Mayor Ed Murray and fellow Democrat King County Executive Dow Constantine.

But at least one state senator is calling the idea nuts, and a lot of Seattle Times readers – more than 330 comments had been posted at this writing – are not too keen about it, either. Here’s what just one reader observed:

“Another example of the lunatics on the left dumbing down deviancy while actually considering themselves to be progressive and enlightened. Incredible. But, this is what occurs when you have people who lack any kind of barometer or objective standard for moral values and duties. They are morally unhinged. Safe zones for heroin users??? What’s next folks? Safe zones for rapists? This country is on a cultural downward spiral and that is precisely how nation’s go down the tubes. There is no moral compass.”

Another reader suggested putting one of these “safe” heroin sites in Murray’s back yard.

Those readers evidently have a friend in the State Senate: Republican State Sen. Mark Miloscia. The newspaper reported Miloscia sent this message in an e-mail:

“These King County officials need to get out of their ivory tower in Seattle and talk to regular folks to understand the insanity of this proposal.”

The newspaper said the 32-member task force has also recommended expansion of existing drug treatment and prevention programs. But are those programs working?

According to the Seattle Times, there were 99 heroin-related deaths in 2013 in King County, which includes Seattle. The following year that spiked to 152 heroin fatalities and last year the newspaper said 132 people died.

Just for the sake of comparison, according to the FBI Uniform Crime reports for 2013 and 2014, fewer people were murdered with firearms in the entire state of Washington in both of those years. In 2013, the Evergreen State racked up 94 gun-related homicides. In 2014, the number fell to 86. Data for 2015 is not yet available.

It should also be noted that Murray and Constantine have supported legislation and a 2014 “universal background check” initiative that inconvenienced law-abiding gun owners.


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