Tacoma City Council votes to support drug possession legislation reform

The Tacoma City Council passed a resolution, supporting state legislation that would be “tough” on drug possession.

TACOMA, Wash. — The Crossroads Treatment Center is a haven for people in Tacoma who have been struggling with addiction for 30 years.

Jeremiah Saucier, who runs the center and has also battled drug addiction, said he understands the battles his patients are going through.

“I wanted to share my story so I could convince someone to go in that direction,” he said.

But Saucier recently said that problems around drug use are getting worse in Tacoma, which is why he supports the City Council’s new stance on drug possession.

During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Victoria Woodards and councilors voted in favor of a state law making drug possession a criminal offence, as long as the offender has the opportunity to avoid conviction if they go for treatment. The City Council resolution also calls for state funding to ensure access to treatment and opposes any law that takes away local land-use control when setting up treatment facilities. .

The panel focused on two pieces of legislation in the previous Study Session introduced by state senators: SB 5467 and SB 5536. If either section were passed, drug possession would be prohibited. considered a serious misdemeanor in the state of Washington. SB 5467 will enter into force immediately after it is signed by the governor and SB 5536 will enter into force 90 days after the end of the legislative session.

It’s a good idea, Saucier says, because some people may not be willing to seek the help they need.

“I think it’s a good start because we have facilities here that want to help them,” Saucier said. “I was out there and we always offered to help. So, until something gives you a break and gives you a chance to wake your brain up… what’s the impetus for change? Because this is getting worse, it’s not getting better.”

He also says the impact of addiction to drugs like fentanyl cannot be overstated, and that having policies in place that forces people to seek treatment can save their lives.

“These are young people. They can still have a future if we can get a hold of them. Whatever that means, I really think we should take that seriously,” he said.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/health/tacoma-city-council-drug-possession-legislation-reform/281-95923b76-c4de-4bb6-bb1a-2027d09e5d9f Tacoma City Council votes to support drug possession legislation reform

Edmund DeMarche

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