Last year, a task force created by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine recommended the creation of two drug consumption sites in King County. One site is planned for Seattle and the second will be somewhere else in the county. The implementation of these sites would allow drug users to inject heroin and take other opioids with medical supervision. Thankfully, city councils across King County have been voting to ban drug consumption sites in their towns.
As King County contemplates where to put the second site, cities have taken matters into their own hands, rejecting the sites before the county has the opportunity to place one there. It is clear that these cities have rightful concerns regarding how drug consumption sites would change their communities. Many of these towns are worried that these sites will only make heroin use worse and will make their neighborhoods less safe. One drug consumption site exists in Vancouver, British Columbia and the surrounding neighborhood has already changed a great deal.
Seven cities in King County have already voted to prohibit drug consumption sites in their towns and the list continues to grow. Just this week, both Sammamish and Enumclaw joined Auburn, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, and Renton in placing a ban on these sites. These seven cities represent more than 615,000 people, and their elected leaders are standing up against drug consumption sites. King County is running out of options for a location for the second site as more and more cities are making it clear that they don’t support these sites in their communities.