Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1 – West Seattle), chair of the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, released the following statement following the announcement by City Attorney Ann Davison of new local public consumption legislation:
I am very encouraged to learn that Governor Inslee has made it clear that he and other law makers are making progress towards a solution. I am reaching out to legislators to try and increase support for a statewide solution.
I had four productive meetings with the leaders of the House and Senate in an effort to fashion an agreement regarding the Blake decision. There’s increasing cause to be hopeful that we can achieve a solution shortly. We’ll continue further discussion in the next few days. #waleg— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) April 26, 2023
I believe the State Legislature must find a workable compromise in a special session. I will not consider a local Blake decision fix or any local drug laws while that remains a possibility. A patchwork quilt of different laws across the State would have unwelcome unintended consequences.
Let’s be clear, selling and manufacturing illegal drugs is and will remain illegal in Washington, no matter what happens. I remain committed to Seattle’s approach, as outlined as recently as last week in Mayor Bruce Harrell’s Executive Order, to work to ensure people struggling with addiction get the treatment they need. Seattle Police Chief Diaz laid out the enforcement priorities of SPD during the press conference last week:
“That’s what we’re focused on, is the big-time dealers that are bringing in this distribution and trying to prey and harm our community. We’re hoping that we can actually shore up, with state legislation, the Blake Decision, and that will allow us to really be able to figure out how do we get people into treatment to reduce demand.”