Olympia law would designate downtown ‘drug-free zones’

ahobbs@theolympian.comMarch 26, 2014 

The Olympia City Council will consider a new law at its April 1 meeting that would establish several drug-free zones downtown.

STEVE BLOOM; STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The Olympia City Council will consider a new law at its April 1 meeting that would establish several drug-free zones downtown.

The proposed ordinance is part of an effort to combat the use of illegal drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. If approved, the ordinance would designate five “civic centers” where drug use is prohibited within 1,000 feet. These publicly owned and operated civic centers include the Hands On Children’s Museum, The Washington Center, The Olympia Center, Olympia City Hall and the Olympia Timberland Regional Library.

If approved by the City Council, the ordinance would enhance penalties for felony drug offenses and also prohibit repeat offenders from returning to those zones. The law excludes offenses related to “marijuana leaves and flowering tops.”

Drafted by the city’s land use committee, the proposed ordinance calls for these drug-free zones to be marked with signs.

The ordinance is part of a continuing effort to address crime and drugs in downtown Olympia. Olympia Police Department recently added a second officer to its downtown walking patrol, and the city already bans certain high-alcoholic drinks downtown.

Starting April 1, Olympia police will restore a paid detective to the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 ahobbs@theolympian.com

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