Recently, I attended a panel discussion at the Black Box Theatre at Edmonds College on drug addiction and public safety, organized by Janelle Cass, who is running for State Senate, District 21. I was surprised by what I learned from the thoughtful and articulate group of professionals assembled. You may think these issues aren’t of concern to you, but I believe they soon will be, if left unchecked.
Drug addiction has been rising at an alarming rate within our communities, particularly fentanyl. Drugs sold on the street are commonly laced with fentanyl, unknown to buyers. It’s highly toxic (over 500 deaths in Snohomish County this year), highly addictive and problematic to treat. For example, insurance companies cover only seven days of detox (as for heroin) of the 28 required for fentanyl.
Prisons can’t accommodate the overload of addicts arrested, and treatment centers lack space. Addicts often return to the streets, many of which are becoming increasingly unsafe. Fentanyl addiction in particular produces threatening behaviors, including long-term psychosis. Homelessness and crime are also on the rise as a result, and through recent legislation, police are hampered from pursuing or prosecuting criminals. The panel agreed that further legislation is crucial.
You can access a video of this forum here. https://youtu.be/EekFOaQmaOc
Janelle Cass is prepared to confront this situation. I’ve seen her in action through working together on the Edmonds Tree Board. She’s smart and persuasive, knows how to get things done, and works tirelessly to do so. She also cares deeply about her community, from both human and environmental perspectives. She cares, she listens, and has the skills to make a difference.
I am a Democrat and she’s Republican, but in this case I believe that supporting her just makes sense.