North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

M'ville bans supervised drug consumption sites


December 6, 2017 | View PDF

The Marysville City Council last week took a step prohibiting supervised drug consumption sites.

The council unanimously approved a six-month moratorium preventing such sites from opening within city limits.

“It’s more of a pre-emptive action,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said. The desire for the regulation stems from discussions in King County to establish two supervised drug consumption sites.

“We have a zero tolerance policy toward drugs in this city,” Nehring said, adding that officials look for any way possible for Marysville to avoid becoming drug-user friendly.

Residents and business owners have expressed concerns about the negative community impact a supervised drug consumption site may bring, according to a news release from the City of Marysville. The council was concerned that supervised drug consumption sites could create potential safety issues for residents.

The moratorium is the latest action city officials have taken concerning drug use. The City Council in October approved designating parts of north Marysville and areas of Lakewood near Smokey Point as a Stay Out of Drug Area. The regulation states that anyone convicted of drug crimes within a SODA may receive a two-year ban from returning to those areas.

Then, earlier in October, city officials announced participating in a city-wide program asking residents to avoid giving money to panhandlers. Nehring said the money given to panhandlers often goes to illegal drugs. He would rather see people donate to a charity.

The City of Marysville hasn’t received any applications to establish a safe drug consumption site.

With the six-month moratorium in place, work will take place to develop a more permanent regulation. The Marysville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing in January 2018 to accept public comment. The Commission will eventually develop a recommendation that will be forwarded to the Marysville City Council for their consideration.

Marysville isn’t the only jurisdiction considering a ban on supervised drug consumption sites. The Snohomish County Council recently adopted an emergency ordinance banning for six months the establishment of such sites in unincorporated areas of Snohomish County. The city of Arlington hasn’t had any discussion about supervised drug consumption sites.

The Marysville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing about supervised drug consumption sites which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Marysville City Hall, 1049 State Ave.


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