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In Seattle, Cops Give Up On Arresting Drug Users

In Seattle, Cops Give Up On Arresting Drug Users

Prosecutors in Seattle are taking a bold new approach to drugs in which drug use is viewed as a public health crisis rather than a crime. 

Under the “peace on drugs” policy introduced last September by Dan Satterberg, prosecuting attorney of King County, Washington, individuals caught with less than one gram of any drug are not prosecuted.

Instead of arrest, police confiscate the drugs and present addicts with offers for counseling, rehab, and housing.

“If you believe it’s a disease, you should treat it like it’s diabetes or cancer,” says Satterberg, whose views on addiction changed after watching his younger sister overcome a heroin addiction. “We shouldn’t arrest people and put them in jail because they are sick.”

Satterberg hopes the policy will stop the “revolving door” effect for addicts: drug users who are arrested and prosecuted only to end up back on the street when they are released. 

Supporters view the approach as a humane alternative to former policies that expanded prison populations, wasted taxpayer dollars, and devastated minority communities.

“I want to continue this experiment,” says Satterberg. “We want to create an apparatus of help and support for people instead of just punishing, punishing, punishing.”

Opponents worry the program will make Seattle’s challenges with drug use, crime, and homelessness even worse, disincentivize addicts to get help on their own, and lead to an increase in overall drug use.

As it stands, Seattle’s homeless population is second only to New York and LA. Property crime is common and drug overdoses are increasing every year. 

“I think that they should go ahead and prosecute people who have broken the law,” says Jodi Wilkie, a registered nurse and former GOP candidate for the Washington State Legislature who struggled with drug addiction before she had children. 

“I realize how hard it is. It sometimes takes a few tries for people to get off whatever substance it is that they’re on, but I just don’t think that leniency is helpful.”

When asked if a peaceful approach would have helped her get sober, Wilkie explained that treatment only works when a person takes it seriously. “I think if you want to get sober you have to put your heart and soul into it and really embrace the sober lifestyle. You have to change all of your friends, your associates, everyone you know. It’s a lifestyle change. And if you’re not really all in, your chances of success are limited.”

Unfortunately Satterberg’s “peace on drugs” policy is not limited to Seattle. Attorneys in Boston and Philadelphia are considering a similar approach, five states have reclassified drug possession to a misdemeanor, and eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana.

In an era of unprecedented drug abuse, is a peaceful approach really the best answer?

Editor’s note: This is the remedy that liberals have been preaching for quite a while. The problem is that it doesn’t take into account the fact that the more drugs flow through society, the greater the rate of addiction. Even a tiny amount of drugs, given to someone who has never had it, can lead to addiction.

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  1. Bruce

    Of course , pander to weak ass druggies! It’s not a disease, it’s a choice! Every person has to make the choice, do drugs or don’t! Do drugs and get the consequences! Life’s hard enough and we have to make choices. Liberals and bleeding hearts pander to this issue.. it’s always fund one more program and make excuses for them. To the readers here, are you all alcoholics, drug users, Hell it tastes good and gets you to a fantasy level , feels so dam good! You can’t blame economic level, ethnic, color, and all the bulkshit….. the person going it made a choice to be a weak ass! Maybe these abusers should man/ women up for the first time in their lives! I’m tired of taxpayer being wasted on their problem: medical, treatment, criminal behavior, violence, ambulances, theft, hospitalization… the people who don’t use get screwed every time one of them just wants a jolly good time and screw everyone around them. Quit treating overdoses, they either make it or they dint, be a hell of a lot cheaper! Hospitals treating the same druggie dozens of times at taxpayers expense is such bS.


      Sugars mostly make up carbohydrates, we are born drug addicts. Drugs and/like alcohol are mostly carbon , oxygen, and hydrogen.

  2. TW

    Of course it works. How? The attorneys, court rooms, jails, politicians, and police get a very successful work reduction program! Stupid is as stupid does. Get clean America!

  3. Ron Keeth

    For Amstetdam, supplying needles to homeless addicts has helped bring in homeless addicts from other aress, cities and countries. It has proved to be a wonderful program for all areas away from the homeless and addict magnet. I would eagerly support any program that helps remove a dangerous element from the area where my my family and friends live.


    well when you have lunatics and idiots in charge its no wonder that democratic controlled states cities and counties are all just a cesspool of human waste corruption and lawlessness

  5. Pamela

    The false ‘compassion’ claim has been abused to death! Now, not only is Seattle a sewer, it is an environment where crimes are not punished and those who abide by the law are punished by a legal system that allows criminals to ram free, trespass, poop and pee in the streets, and on, an on…

  6. Dennis

    Oh my- Seattle is the sewer of the Northwest- has been for a while- I never go there anymore. Let those druggies stew in their own crap and homelessness lifestyle- another example of “the slippery slope” We are screwed as a Nation. . .

  7. Tony g

    Seattle ( sanctuary city) is the problem. A haven for drug dealers, drug users, illegal aliens, and homelessness, all caused by the flow of drugs . Seattle is on it’sway to being a third world city with a major sub culture population . Do the math addiction, = an enslaved population. Who will be your master?

  8. steve crawford

    What is needed is mandatory treatment after being arrested the second time in a secure area. Other personal problems can also be addressed.