The backlash was swift and widespread, and so Multnomah County has stopped giving out clean drug paraphernalia to fentanyl addicts so that they can kill themselves more safely. At least, that's what the bureaucrats are tellling the elected bobbleheads on the county commission. It might actually be true. But even so, the stoppage is supposed to be only a pause while the politicians get snowed a little harder.

Of course, tin foil and straws are cheap, and there are probaby a dozen nonprofits in town buying the same supplies with taxpayer dollars and handing them out to the junkies. I'm sure it's perfectly legal under Oregon state law, where the right to take hard drugs is now a fixture.

Meanwhile, that troublemaker lawyer guy who's been busting the city's chops on all the street camping presented the City Council with a letter today urging them to abolish the "joint" homeless office the city shares with the county, and take the city streets back from the enablers. Speaking on behalf of his clients, who are disabled people, the attorney, John DiLorenzo, wrote in part:

We learned yesterday, that due to public outrage, Chair Vega Pederson announced that the fentanyl paraphernalia distribution plan has been temporarily suspended “pending further analysis.” Moments before her announcement, County spokesperson Sarah Dean defended the plan and said that the County planned to spend approximately $3 million this next fiscal year on “harm reduction supplies.” Ms. Dean continues to defend the plan in press reports even after the County’s “suspension” of the program.

This latest episode and threat by County to distribute fentanyl enabling paraphernalia is still a real possibility in light of Ms. Dean’s quotes. It is such a departure from City policy, and is such a threat to the safety of the community, that we believe it warrants the City suspending all further quarterly payments, dissolving the JOHS, and proceeding against Multnomah County to enforce its indemnity obligation to recover the City’s costs of defense of the Tozer litigation (including any attorney fees awarded to the plaintiffs by the Federal Court). You have given the County staff more than enough time to get on the same page. It is apparent that they will continue to pursue their disastrous course unless you take a bold step. Dissolving the Joint Office should be that step.

I'd go further, as readers here know. I'd merge the city and the county and get rid of one set of bobbleheads entirely. It's clear that there are far too many cooks making the current distasteful stew.


  1. I first read your last line as “too many crooks making this distasteful stew”….

    1. I'd say idiots making this distasteful stew. Unable to learn from their mistakes. Unable to admit their mistakes. Always pretending they didn't make a mistake.

    2. As best I could tell from the gobbledegook that was the county's explanation for distributing pipes and foil as "harm reduction" is that they can "connect" with addicts when they pick up their freebies and somehow convince them to quit. Hell, they can "connect" with them anytime they want by strolling around downtown - what's holding them back?

  2. I mixed it up on the bird app this week with social workers and a doctor who specializes in addiction over this topic. They swore up and down that handing out free pipes is the way. It's been done in other cities across the country to great success. When asked to provide an example, not they not only didn't, but they got all huffy that I would even ask for one.

    The hope, as I understand it, is by giving out pipes, addicts are less likely to move to the needle and everything that comes with that. Two things jumped out to me as I waded through the Google machine to do my own research: the first was a study out of Seattle that basically concluded that if offered, addicts would accept free pipes; the second was a study showing with the introduction of fentanyl during the Obama administration, addicts are more likely to move from needles to pipes and not the other way around. So I take these two buts of information and say "what in the hell are we doing here?"

    The final argument says if we give them free pipes, they're more likely to visit service agencies. I asked why on God's green earth would an addict be motivated to visit the county health department to pick up a device they can buy at any corner store for a buck. At that, the social workers flew off the handle. "They see us all the time for clothes and medical assistance!" Right, so if they're already there, then why the free pipe? Again, crickets.

    I'm open to the idea that free pipes and foil could help. Needle exchanges in the 80s and 90s definitely helped bend the curve on HIV and AIDS. There's no denying that. But with this, no one seems willing to share evidence that it'll do anything to help.

    Change my mind, as the libertarians say.

    1. Logic is not their strong suit

  3. Street people on drugs won’t go away until the enablers change their methods.

  4. Whenever we want to build more freeways the progressives screech about creating "induced demand" (which translates into: if you make driving easier, more people might choose to do it).

    Let's just ignore the fact that having the ability to drive is generally a good thing for humans and that smoking fentanyl is generally a bad thing for them.

    How isn't giving away drug paraphernalia inducing demand for drugs?

  5. My father was in AA for years and as a child I went to a few AA family events. I remember they constantly drank coffee.
    Everyone is addicted to something you just have to be discriminating about your drug of choice


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