Mayor Murray: If you're pro-life, pro-choice you'll support safe injection sites

A safe injection site was set up in a Seattle park as part of a push for them in King County last year. (Josh Kerns, KIRO Radio)

Does Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray know that safe injection sites in Seattle won’t eliminate drug dealing and crime in the city?

Mayor Ed Murray answered that question from a KIRO Radio listener by defending the plan for two safe injection sites.

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“We went up to look at Vancouver, British Columbia and it was evidence-based on basically where people live — that they reduce the number of people who are dying,” Murray said. “So I guess if you’re pro-choice and pro-life, the fact that it just keeps people alive and gives the people in Vancouver a chance to work with those people to get them treatment. This I think is worth it. It is a basic human decency thing.”

“I know there’s something in the Puritan DNA of Americans who say, ‘Well let them kill themselves.’ Well, actually, I don’t think that’s helpful and I think it’s incredibly expensive as well.”

Murray admitted to KIRO Radio's Ron and Don that the city doesn't know for sure if safe injection sites will work and they'd like to do it as a pilot project to see if it helps Seattle's drug problem.

The plan proposes one safe injection site in Seattle and one outside the city limits in King County. Addicts can consume drugs under medical supervision and without fear of consequences from law enforcement. Seattle-King County Public Health will be responsible for implementation of the safe injection plan.

Murray reminded Ron and Don that drug use is not just limited to city limits. Heroin is an epidemic the entire country is dealing with.

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“What we’re doing is not working in this country,” Murray said. “We said, ‘Let’s try something new.’ Vancouver has been able to show some improvement.”

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has said he also supports safe injection sites.

“I am convinced that the physical site and, more importantly, the personal connections made between users, street outreach workers and medical professionals that can lead to recovery services are a critical element to this new strategy of harm reduction and community health,” Satterberg wrote in a message to the Board of Health.