FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Saying they will offer no sanctuary for illegal drug use, Federal Way city councilmembers on Tuesday night banned heroin injection sites in the city.
The vote follows a recommendation by a King County task force to open two supervised injection facilities, only one of which would be in Seattle.
A resolution opposing such a facility in Federal Way received unanimous support from city leaders. Councilmember Martin Moore is the main sponsor of the effort.
“We need proven, realistic, workable solutions that don’t cause more problems than they solve,” he told the audience in council chambers just before the vote.
Residents also spoke out during a public comment period, and no one supported the drug-use facilities.
“If we’re going to enable heroin addiction, what’s next? Special roads for drunk driving?” one man asked sarcastically from the podium.
Supervised injection sites offer a place for addicts to use illegal drugs off the streets while being monitored by medical professionals. People in Federal Way said it is a lofty goal, but the wrong approach.
“We got to help them, and this is not the way to do it anywhere, but especially not in Federal Way,” one of the speakers told the crowd.
Federal Way joins a growing list of cities saying no to heroin injection sites. Both Bellevue and Auburn have approved bans. Still pending is a petition in King County to outlaw injection sites.
Meanwhile, King County and the city of Seattle are still trying to identify locations for the supervised injection sites. A location in Seattle is supposed to come first, but health officials don’t expect any announcements until next year when a new mayor takes office.