Washington State Rep Proposes Banning Something Already Illegal
A State Representative on the West side of the State has prefiled legislation in advance of the coming session taking aim at something apparently so common, it may shock you.
What is even more incredulous is Rep. Sam Low's (R-39th District Lake Stevens) bill bans something that was banned by State Lawmakers almost 40 years ago. In 1985 the Legislature passed the Washington Clean Indoor Air Act that took aim at smoking in public places.
In the original text of the bill it states:
A smoking area may be designated in a public place by the owner or, in the case of a leased or rented space, by the lessee or other person in charge except in: (a) Elevators; buses, except for private hire; streetcars; taxis, except those clearly and visibly designated by the owner to permit smoking
Rep. Low's bill, believe it or not, bans smoking on public transportation You may be thinking...yeah right, you can't get away with lighting up on public transit. You would be wrong, especially when you're talking about hard drugs.
Fentanyl Smoking is Happening on Buses
The University of Washington published a study last September that showed fentanyl and meth smoke lingered on public transit vehicles. Five agencies, King County Metro, Sound Transit, Everett Transit and Community Transit in Snohomish County, and Tri-Met in the Portland metro area, worked with UW researchers on the study.
UW published these findings:
Researchers detected methamphetamine in 98% of surface samples and 100% of air samples, while fentanyl was detected in 46% of surface and 25% of air samples. One air sample exceeded federal recommendations for airborne fentanyl exposure at work established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
...but it has been illegal to smoke on public transit for almost 40 years.
HB 2002 would lay out specific penalties for the public use of fentanyl or methamphetamine by making the action a gross misdemeanor. The really ridiculous part of this is we need a law to remind people smoking an illegal substance, in a place where it is already illegal to smoke anything, needs to be written.
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Gallery Credit: Allison Rapp