Hey y’all, it’s Luke.
Quick one this morning, because we need to act fast (scroll straight to the action items at the bottom if you like).
The Washington State legislature has been doing some good work in its latest session, including a big corona virus aid bill that Governor Inslee should be signing into law possibly as we speak.
There’s another bill — HB 1499, The Pathways to Recovery Act — that would have a massive ongoing impact, creating a coordinated, uniform state-wide response to substance abuse and addiction, looking to better the treatment services system across the board and giving police training on how to respond to people with substance abuse disorders.
Crucially, it also decriminalizes personal-use amounts of narcotics.
There has long been a debate between doctors and service providers who study addiction and law enforcement about locking people up. The science is pretty clear: locking people up to “dry out” doesn’t work and often exacerbates the issue — taking people away from their communities, often costing them their jobs, and sometimes, tragically, connecting them to drug dealers inside who then groom them to go from using, to dealing.
Decriminalizing personal use will effectively (hopefully) end this escalation.
You can read the briefing paper here, the full bill here. Here are the highlights:
I’m hearing that Law Enforcement is lining up against this bill for reasons that aren’t immediately clear, The bill has massive legislative support and also a ton of support from dozens of service providers across the state — the people who know what works.
But Law Enforcement is a powerful lobby, so proponents are asking people who believe in compassionate addiction treatment and decriminalization of personal amounts of drugs — and, y’know, just making our communities safer and more stable — to strongly voice their support and give these legislators a hand to do the right thing.
We gotta get crackin’, though.
The hearing meeting is at 10 am this morning.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to weigh in:
- SEND AN EMAIL ASAP with this one-click tool to message your legislators
- Sign up as being in favor of the bill at the meeting. This one has a couple steps:
- Go to this link: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/House
- For committees, select “Public Safety” and then “2/12/2021 at 10am”.
- Click HB 1499 “Sub. use disorder/health.”
- Once at this link, you’ll just need to select “PRO” to mark your support for the bill, enter your name, and some basic information and you’ll be good to go.
That’s it. Easy, right?