Letters to the editor for May 24

Courtesy of the Washington State Parks Department

New drug possession law continues punishment

I am disappointed to read about the newly passed drug possession law.

After the State Supreme Court’s decision in Blake v. Washington, the legislature was afforded a unique opportunity to reform our existing drug possession laws. Unfortunately, the law passed during a recent special session reverts us back to the drug policy of the past. Rather than providing as direct of a path to treatment as possible, we have once again chosen to focus on punishing drug users by removing the right to pre-trial diversion and treatment, now barred behind the prosecutor’s consent.

However, this law is a marked improvement from the previous law, as possession would be classified as a gross misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Unfortunately, this type of punishment for drug addiction often worsens the root causes of the addiction (poverty, isolation, emotional distress). By reimplementing a drug possession law in this style, we are taking a step forward, and then two back. Until treatment and recovery are prioritized over punishment, we will not be able to end our drug crisis.

Miles Heisel, Olympia

No notice for release of sexually violent predators

Gov. Inslee just vetoed Sections 207(2) and 207(3) of the state budget on DSHS Community Notice and Consultation on Placement of Sexually Violent Predators. Inslee is quoted as saying it’s too burdensome and that the additional administrative tasks would likely result in the delay in availability of placement options for individuals ordered by a court to be moved out of the McNeil Island facility.

Really, what a slap in the face after all the hard work we in Tenino have done to keep sexual predators out of our community. Glad he is not running again since he has destroyed Washington state.

Emma Butler, Tenino

Rich must pay fair share of taxes

Democracy is in danger. Our democracy was never meant to represent only the rich and rich corporations.

I was a U.S. history major in college. My grown children joke that I should not make my history major their problem. But if we want a democratic, representative government, we all need to pay attention.

Banning books, attacking groups not in the majority, blatant racism, attacks on our public lands, post office, public education, social security and Medicare, and unfair tax advantages for the rich are a hallmark of impending fascism. Save what is left of our democracy while we still can.

Karen Ahrens, Tumwater

No golf at Westport Light State Park

The Westport Light State Park is investigating whether to allow a privately run Scottish links-style golf course to be developed. If you go to the state parks website for ‘Planning’ and select Westport Light, the status and current comments and studies are available.

The golf course will use 500,000 gallons of water a day. It will use 18 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet. If the course encompasses 110 acres, that means that over 86,000 pounds of fertilizer will be applied annually.

The park has the second largest interdunal wetlands in the state. It has an exceptionally high water table, meaning fertilizers can more easily enter the ground water and wetlands. The aesthetics of the cherished dune trail will be forever altered. It is planned now as a trail meandering through golf links with the obvious potential for golf ball projectiles.

Beware course “Green” certifications flooding the marketing strategies for golf courses. “Best Management Practices” seem nothing more than standard chemistry installation instructions.

This park is the only location without vehicular travel on the beach. Humans need beaches without vehicles and development. It has over 500,000 visitors each year. Protect the park and comment today at the state parks website.

Meghan Anderson, Grayland