Pubdate: Wed, 26 Mar 2014
Source: Olympian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2014 The Olympian
Author: Andy Hobbs


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.
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