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Tacoma deputy mayor champions initiative to decriminalize personal drug use

Proponents, including Tacoma City Council member Keith Blocker, say I-1715 would help keep those with substance-use disorder out of jails and prisons while blunting the disproportionate negative impacts drugs laws have had on communities of color. Recently filed with the Secretary of State’s office, the initiative will need roughly 260,000 valid signatures by July 2 to qualify for November’s ballot.

Do we want another body in jail, or do we want someone who actually can get help or get support? That’s really what we’re looking at, said Monisha Harrell, the board chair of Equal Rights Washington, underscoring the main theme of the initiative.

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