Everett, Washington City Council To Get Briefed On Banning Open Drug Use In Public

April 11, 2023

Everett Government

Camp 5

Open drug use has become commonplace in Everett over the last two years.

Things may be moving forward as the City of Everett looks to ban open use of illegal drugs in public on the streets of Everett, Washington.

At the Wednesday night City Council meeting there will be a briefing on two methods currently under discussion. One is a bill passed by the Washington State Senate (5536) that would again make it a misdemeanor to openly use drugs in public. That measure is currently awaiting a vote in the State House. The other is a local City of Everett Municipal Code change making that activity illegal within the city limits. Below is the briefing statement to the City Council. Tomorrow night is just a briefing and the council would have to hold a public hearing and vote at a future meeting if they were to take any action.

This briefing will outline two avenues currently underway to address the issue of public consumption of controlled substances via criminal legal response. E2SSB 5536 has passed the Washington State Senate and may be on track to pass the House of Representatives. In addition to criminalizing knowing possession of controlled
substances, codifying State v. Blake, 197 Wn.2d 170, E2SSB 5536 creates a new misdemeanor offense in Washington state, making it a crime to “knowingly possess and use a controlled substance in a public place by injection, inhalation, ingestion, or any other means” unless possessed and used with a valid prescription. If passed by the
legislature in its current form, the knowing public use of controlled substances will be criminally enforceable on July 1, 2023.

The second effort proposes the Everett City Council adopt an ordinance relating to public consumption of controlled substances, amending Chapter 10.35 EMC and creating a new misdemeanor offense to knowingly use a controlled substance, including heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl, in a public place within the City of Everett. This effort could feasibly become effective in Spring 2023, but may become preempted with the passage of E2SSB 5536.

The Everett City Council meetings are Wednesday nights at 6:30 PM at 3002 Wetmore in downtown Everett. You can also view and attend online. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for your options to view and participate.


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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

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