Seattle Drug Use And Argentina’s Blackout

Grind for June 20th
FIRST SIP:
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
– Voltaire



BEST OF LUCK

The Headline

Seattle embraces “peace on drugs”

The Grind

Prosecutors in Seattle are taking a bold new approach to drugs in which drug use is viewed as a public health crisis rather than a crime.

Under the “peace on drugs” policy introduced last September by Dan Satterberg, prosecuting attorney of King County, Washington, individuals caught with less than one gram of any drug are not prosecuted.

Instead of arrest, police present addicts with offers for counseling, rehab, and housing.

“If you believe it’s a disease, you should treat it like it’s diabetes or cancer,” says Satterberg. “We shouldn’t arrest people and put them in jail because they are sick.”

The Details

Supporters view the approach as a humane alternative to former policies that expanded prison populations, wasted taxpayer dollars, and devastated minority communities.

Opponents worry the program will make Seattle’s challenges with drug use, crime, and homelessness even worse, disincentivize addicts to get help on their own and lead to an increase in overall drug use.

As it stands, Seattle’s homeless population is second only to New York and LA. Property crime is common and drug overdoses are increasing every year.

“I think that they should go ahead and prosecute people who have broken the law,” says Jodi Wilkie, a registered nurse and former GOP candidate for the Washington State Legislature who struggled with drug addiction before she had children.

“I realize how hard it is. It sometimes takes a few tries for people to get off whatever substance it is that they’re on, but I just don’t think that leniency is helpful.”

When asked if a peaceful approach would have helped her get sober, Wilkie explained that treatment only works when a person takes it seriously. “I think if you want to get sober, you have to put your heart and soul into it and really embrace the sober lifestyle. You have to change all of your friends…everyone, you know. It’s a lifestyle change. And if you’re not really all in, your chances of success are limited.”

Unfortunately Satterberg’s “peace on drugs” policy is not limited to Seattle. Attorneys in Boston and Philadelphia are considering a similar approach, five states have reclassified drug possession to a misdemeanor, and eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana.



MISTAKE OR MALICE?

The Headline

Massive blackout leaves Argentina and Uruguay in the dark

The Grind

An unexplained failure in the electrical grid that serves Argentina and Uruguay left both nations without power on Sunday. Parts of Paraguay were also without power.

“Everything came to a halt,” said one local: elevators, water pumps, traffic signals, and public transportation. “We were left adrift.”

The Details

Based on population, the blackout affected up to 48 million people.

“This is the first time something like this has happened across the entire country,” said Argentinian power company Edesur.

The blackout occurred around 7am local time, just as Argentinians were preparing to vote in local elections. Images posted to social media show voters casting ballots in the dark, using cell phones for light.

According to energy companies, power had been restored to about 50% of Argentina and 88% of Uruguay by 5pm.

Official sources suggest the outage blocked the transmission of electricity from the Yacycreta hydroelectric dam, but the exact cause of the blackout is unclear.

“At this moment we’re not ruling out any possibility,” said Argentina’s Energy Minister Gustavo Lopetegui.

As power is gradually restored, Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri has promised a full investigation.




GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
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