Renton becomes fourth city in King County to reject safe drug-consumption site

RENTON, Wash. -- The Renton City Council voted unanimously Monday night to oppose placement of a safe drug-consumption site within its city limits.

It's the latest city to take such an action after the King County Council announced it would establish two safe consumption, or injection, sites  -- one in Seattle and the other elsewhere in the county.

The councils in Bellevue, Auburn and Federal Way already have voted to bar placement of a site in their cities.


Advocates say such sites save lives and can connect users with health services, which is crucial as addiction levels have skyrocketed. A 40-member King County task force convened last year recommended opening one safe-injection site in Seattle and one in another part of King County. Their exact locations have not been determined yet.

They would be the first such sites in the United States.

But critics fear it would only attract more drug users and would lead to more crime.

In January, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said, "My visit to Insite, Vancouver, Canada’s safe consumption site, made clear these sites save lives and that is our goal in Seattle/King County. Keeping people alive gives them the opportunity to get treatment and begin their path to recovery."