King County Vice Chair Reagan Dunn issued a statement Tuesday in response to Gov. Jay Inslee calling for a special legislative session to address the need for a permanent fix to the state Supreme Court’s Blake decision on drug laws.
King County Vice Chair Reagan Dunn issued the following statement Tuesday in response to Gov. Jay Inslee calling for a special legislative session to address the need for a permanent fix to the state Supreme Court’s Blake decision on drug laws:
“I applaud the Governor for having the courage and fortitude to convene a special session to address the impending lapse of statewide laws against public drug use. The Legislature must now come to the table in good faith to find a solution so that the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in addiction recovery can be put to work and the safety of our communities can be protected.
“It will take compromise on both sides of the aisle to stave off the need of cities and counties to create local regulations — a patchwork approach that is far from the most sensible solution. I call on Republicans to help the process by supporting a reasonable compromise to resolve this critical issue, criminalize public drug use, and authorize the release of crucial recovery dollars. I am encouraged to see the Legislature taking up the urgent issue before us and eagerly anticipate a sensible solution.”
Following the Washington State Legislature’s failure to provide a permanent state level drug possession law in the wake of the Supreme Court’s State v. Blake decision, illegal drug use and possession will no longer be penalized as of July 1, 2023. This has spurred cities and counties to introduce their own ordinances penalizing drug use and possession before the stopgap state possession law expires.
Last week, Dunn proposed an ordinance that would make public drug use a crime in King County.