Comments

1

Yeah, make Puerto Rico a state, followed by D. C. That is something worth fighting for. Unlike say, police reform, it is simple, clear cut, and not complicated. Puerto Rico would be about the 30th biggest state, while D. C. has more people than Vermont and Wyoming. Hard to make the argument against statehood for both.

2

"make parking free forever!" - ?
Hoping you were being jocular there, that is one incoherent statement coming from the Stranger. Right up there with $30 car tabs. Sure, continue to subsidize car ownership... Eyman and Culp are totes on board with that!!

3

@1 Ross, agree with that as a short-term fix, but only so we can eventually get rid of the Senate as we know it (which we'll never do).

4

"Oregon decriminalized drugs this year. Washington wants to do the same next year"

That's like legalizing Blood Diamonds, Elephant Ivory and killing Rino's for their horns. The unmentionable horrors and terrors happening South of our boarder, so someone can get a quick cheap fix on our streets, can't be overlooked just because this sounds progressive here.

5

@1 Easy to admit Puerto Rico, but admitting DC to the union would require a Constitutional amendment, not easy.

6

2 is correct. Not charging for parking is bad for the environment.

7

So Loren Culp returned to his itty bitty widdle redneck Republic after losing to true-Blue three time Washington Governor-elect, Jay Inslee (YAAAAAY!!), only to find that his town's City Council defunded its police department? And now Culp's jobless. Take THAT, MAGAs!
Wipe the smile off my face. Just try. :)

Thank you, Chase, Jasmyne, and Rich---I needed that.

8

@1 I would love to have Puerto Rico but who looks at America right now and says "yeah, I wanna be an official part of that."

9

5 things we need::

Remove the Electoral College. Period.
Expand SCOTUS to one seat per district court. I'd say 21 after you read 3.
Expand US states. Alter the West to have 10 states from CA OR WA (or 12, whatever), add DC and PR and allow NY and TX to opt to split up (they won't but hey you asked).
Rejoin the Climate Accord, as a signatory, and expire all fossil fuel direct and indirect subsidies - that means no tax exemption for parking, no on street parking, nada. No more bridges unless they are net zero carbon emissions. Ever.
Reinstitute the Reformation Laws still on the books. Note that states that split up won't be subject to them, as they are new creations.

10

Re. "Make parking free forever!"

@2: "Hoping you were being jocular there,..." That's a "joke" in the same way Donald Trump's forays into thinking out loud are a joke. Not funny.

Time to refer people to the timeless classic, "The High Cost of Free Parking" by Donauld Shoup:
https://www.amazon.com/High-Cost-Free-Parking-Updated/dp/B07DM7PPDW

11

The Backlash Against Trump Never Came

Half of American voters have a message for politicians: Cage as many kids as you want. Ignore the pandemic. There will be no consequences.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/scaachikoul/2020-election-results-trump-biden-president?origin=web-hf

12

2 & 4 are on the money. in general i think this is a great slog PM and strong synopsis of the day's events, but please, let's not make parking free forever. or advocate for making parking free forever. -sincerely, loyal monthly contributor to the stranger.

13

2 & 6. i'm not exactly sure where i stand on the WA drug decriminalization effort yet, though offhand i'm probably pro. bedtime.

14

@10, not to mention that those lost funds = cuts somewhere is in the budget. You want stuff for the public hood, we have to raise money somehow to pay for it.

15

I feel sorry for sad Tя☭mpanzee Loren Culp HAHAHAHAHA! Oh & LMFAOOOOO!!!

16

Loren Culp is not only the chief of a one member police force, he's been using vacation hours to run for Governor, so the County Sheriff's Office has been doing his job for him. And obviously doing a better job.

17

Every single asshole out there at a "protest" chanting STOP THE COUNT, needs to be pulled aside and have their vote deleted. Anyone demanding the vote of another not be counted, needs to have their vote not be counted. Let's start with Trump. Seriously. Enough bullshit. Why is this fucked up insanity being normalized?

IT IS NOT FUCKING NORMAL AND THESE PEOPLE NEED TO BE GIVEN WHAT THEY WANT - THEY DON'T WANT TO WEAR MASKS AND THEY GET SICK WITH COVID - NO MEDICAL CARE. THEY DON'T WANT OTHER PEOPLE'S VOTES COUNTED? VOID AND DELETE THEIR VOTES. EVERY SINGLE DEMAND THEY MAKE TO MARGINALIZE ANOTHER PERSON NEEDS TO BE TURNED ON THEM. GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT, BUT ONLY WITH REGARD TO THE THEM. FEED THEM THEIR OWN MEDICINE UNTIL THEY CHOKE ON IT.

I am so over all of this shit and we are going to have to listen to Trump and all if his idiot minions for months and then after that for years. They need to Jim Jones themselves. They've lost and they can't possibly bear that reality (like they've been telling everyone else for four years, FUCK YOUR FEELINGS)! Fuck them. Get rid of them.

18

@4: All criminalization of drugs (alcohol and cannabis included) has ever done is to increase the price, make product quality hazardously inconsistent, pour money into organized crime, corrupt the police, and make treatment for addictions difficult and expensive. And all of that fun is just the domestic effects. The south of our "boarder" horrors come from the high price caused by our criminalization. Take most of the money out of drugs and the smuggling will fade away, just as it did with alcohol and cannabis. Tax the sales of the now-legal drugs, and fund treatment programs for addicts. None of this is radical or unprecedented.

19

Yo, undies, I didn't mention anything about drugs in my post.

20

@8, the problem for Puerto Rico is that they're already part of us. Or rather, the US. Have been for 120 years. They just have no representation in congress and no say in the electoral college. Because they're a territory and not a state, they get completely fucked by US trade policy. They're hamstrung in their ability to self-govern or borrow money. Being a US territory is the worst of all worlds for them. They'd be better off either becoming a state or cutting ties entirely and demanding independence.

21

@9 Will in Seattle, and @11 & @17 xina: I share your feelings.

22

Yeah, I lived in DC for a decade or so and statehood is hugely popular there. And yet I don't think it's got a chance in hell anytime in the foreseeable future, at least in part for the stupidest of reasons. Dumb-assed, old school and simple minded legislators seem to cherish the novelty of having that majestic number of territories under our grand national umbrella. Don't forget those are hard core flag humping legislators and a redesign of the ol' stars and bars would also get their panties in a huge bunch, even as it could surely be done in such a way to keep the additional stars aligned in an aesthetically pleasing manner. I've long thought it's probably comparable to the same moronic adherence to tradition and idiotic symbolism that's kept the worthless ass penny in both circulation and mint for several decades too long. I've linked before, but this is a short and worthwhile Last Week Tonight segment about that issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tyszHg96KI&list=PL9nx6cHERfA7zVC14ytOMkHpPhtWAO2fI&index=45&t=0s

Of course it goes without saying the fact that statehood would also further empower minorities and steer us a little bit closer to a more functional and representative democracy is also a huge turnoff for them. Here you go, LWT on statehood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z4j2CrJRn4&list=LLz7klNqfGvDDhuxogZpaihw

24

@23, that's a really bad comparison. Nobody is talking about legalizing meth labs, the transport of heroin, or the distribution of crack. You know, the things which actually drive the violence you're saying will disappear when possession is changed from a misdemeanor to a civil penalty. If lowering the penalties for drug possession increases demand, which seems plausible, this legislation will increase this violence, which is a serious problem in some places.

You can certainly say that the current drug laws are behind this violence, but this specific legislation, passed in the world we currently live in rather than the one we would like, would do nothing to address those laws and could very well make the violence worse. This isn't something that should be ignored or dismissed by comparing the decriminalization of possession to the decriminalization of possession, production, and distribution.

25

@24 - When it comes to hard drugs, the vast majority of people who want to try them likely already do so now when they're illegal. I don't see that experimentation changing significantly with decriminalization. Further, decriminalization doesn't mean no consequences; a civil violation still entails generally burdensome consequences.

Much like civil public intoxication charges (civil in Texas), possession could still mean things such as an arrest (albeit one with civil sanctions), mandatory commitment to a drug rehab facility, some term of court-ordered monitoring or some lesser combo of those...or other ones entirely.

Decriminalization does not equate to legalization.

Whatever form the consequences for a civil infraction of possession would take, it would mean not sending people to prison who merely choose an intoxicant other than alcohol and who may be battling the medical illness of addiction.

The article said misdemeanor possession, but almost all possession of hard drugs, regardless of amount, in most places is a felony, so decriminalization means no felony record for this victimless crime that is often a medical problem rather than a criminal one. It means not brutalizing those same people in our prisons and teaching them brutality in return. It means investing more in medical solutions. It makes users more physically safe.

In fact, decriminalization does not make anyone less safe, and it makes some more safe. That should be the determining bottom line for any law which concerns itself with public safety.

Now, follow suit with prescription drug laws.

26

@24, Maybe decriminalizing possession of hard drugs won't cause an increase in use, but it's not something that should be taken as a given. The use of pot increased during the time that it became more legally accepted (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2464591). I know correlation doesn't mean causation, but ignoring this possibility isn't exactly good policy. I largely agree with what you said about the impact on people caught with drugs, however I wouldn't assume users are going to face some kind of consequences. Right now, the possession of small amounts of any drugs simply aren't prosecuted in King County with no consequences, I wouldn't assume this legislation would change this.

However, I wasn't addressing the impact on users but rather those in drug producing regions. This is something that does seem to be overlooked as @4 said. Comparing the decriminalization of possession, which is what this legislation we're all talking about would do, with the decriminalization of possession, manufacture, and distribution, as prohibition did, misses the point. It ignores the violence around the manufacture and distribution of hard drugs, which I assume we can all assume is a thing. It's also a thing that will get worse if the demand for hard drugs increases. This is something that should at least be addressed as a possible consequence of this legislation.

30

For Trump to win, he has to win every uncalled state - but it's still nerve-racking.

32

Loren Culp...the most successful police defunder in Washington state history.

It's his one achievement of the year.

Almost as amusing as his refusal to concede when he's over 500,000 votes behind and there's no possible way he could close that gap.

33

@32: Nothing new to see here. Republicans have god (or guns, same thing to them) on their side. In 1996, Ellen Craswell was twenty percentage points behind Gary Locke in every poll from the primary to the general. Early returns on election day consistently showed her twenty points down. WA Secretary of State Ralph Munro had a deal with CNN and the other networks not to call the race until our polls closed at 8pm. Craswell still refused to concede, so at 8:01pm CNN announced Gary Locke had won the election by twenty points. Craswell did not concede until later in the week.

But yes, Culp de-funding his own police job was his one political achievement for this year. (If we are lucky, it will be his lifetime political achievement.)

34

Maybe Loren Culp can find a new position doing PSAs to tell kids to finish high school.

35

Decriminalizing seems like the right thing to do as long as it's combined with real treatment opportunities & funding. Of course, we will forget about the treatment & funding, so street drug use will remain unchanged.


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