Which WA City Bans Public Drug Use, ‘Homeless Camping?’
More and more cities in WA are passing such rules, to combat the rising crime, drug use, and homeless issues.
Lakewood, WA passes ordinances banning public drug use, camping
According to MyNorthwest.com, this city of 63,000 just southwest of Tacoma passed this week two ordinances that ban the public use of drugs, including fentanyl, meth, heroin, and others. They are also banning anyone from camping on public property, including areas owned by the city.
City officials and the Mayor say they are not trying to punish anyone, but want to set the tone that public drug use will not be tolerated. Officials fear becoming like downtown Seattle, where entire city blocks have been abandoned by businesses due to drugs, crime, and homeless camping issues.
The drug policy makes it a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. Same for the public camping. However, the public camping ordinance only comes into effect if the person in question refuses the offer of shelter.
Similar ordinances have recently been passed in Marysville, Kent, Tacoma, and Edmonds. According to MyNorthwest.com:
"The goal of these ordinances is to protect public spaces from the harmful impact of open drug use and the placement of unauthorized temporary housing, multiple council members said."
More and more cities are passing such ordinances, to push back against the legislative laws that have severely restricted law enforcement from pursuing and apprehending suspects as well as keeping them off the streets.