After narrowly rejecting a similar bill in June, the Seattle City Council approved legislation last week that criminalizes the public use and possession of illicit drugs. This legislation brings Seattle into alignment with the drug criminalization legislation passed during the State Legislature’s May special session.
Originally proposed by Councilmembers Sara Nelson and Alex Pedersen and Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison, this legislation was necessary to give the City Attorney the legal authority to prosecute drug crimes. The legislation that passed the Council included stronger provisions to ensure that diversion from prosecution to treatment is offered to drug offenders. The Mayor also pledged $27 million for added treatment services. Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Andrew Lewis voted against the original legislation but for the revised bill, which passed by a 6-3 margin.
WR commends the Seattle City Council for passing this important legislation.