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Activists, public health advocates launch initiative to decriminalize drug possession

"A coalition of activists and public health leaders is working to get an initiative on Washington’s ballot that would decriminalize drug possession and redirect marijuana tax revenue to treatment programs. ...

"Kim Thorburn, Spokane County’s former health officer and a former prison doctor, says the state’s current approach still isolates people from lifesaving resources and support.

'Early on in the HIV epidemic when we were trying to implement syringe exchange, (people said) "Oh, this is going to increase drug use by providing paraphilia." The data is exactly the opposite, when we can reach out and engage people in a safe way, this is their access to treatment and a way out,' she said."


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