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5 things to know this weekend

Drug possession law impacts; 'Magic mushroom' research; Convenience store armed robberies; Child fentanyl death; Black bear in Issaquah


Washington prosecutors, judges preparing for state drug possession law to go into effect

Prosecutors and judges across the state are preparing for the state’s new drug possession law to go into effect on July 1. 

That includes Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison. She along with Councilmembers Sara Nelson and Alex Pedersen are proposing legislation that would change the city’s code and bring Seattle in compliance with state law. The proposal will also give Davison the authority to prosecute drug possession and public drug use cases.

“If it doesn’t happen, then it will essentially legalize drug use in the City of Seattle and that’s not what I think most people are wanting to see,” Davison said.

According to the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, there were 589 overdose deaths in Seattle in 2022, up 72% from 2021. Read more

UW Medicine tasked with 'magic mushroom' research for mental health therapy: HealthLink

Newly passed legislation in Washington aims to further explore the power of psychedelic mushrooms as a tool for psychotherapy.

The University of Washington has the go-ahead to conduct a research trial using psilocybin, the compound found in what's commonly known as "magic mushrooms," to see if it can effectively and safely be used to treat mental health conditions.

The use of psilocybin in Washington is still illegal in the state, but on May 9, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation that enacts a state task force to further study it and lay the groundwork for a long-term strategic plan. Read more

Authorities investigating multiple armed robberies at convenience stores throughout south King County

King County authorities are investigating several armed robberies at convenience stores in Federal Way, Kent and Renton Thursday night into Friday morning.

According to Valley Communications, five separate armed robberies took place in Kent, Federal Way and Renton between around 10:45 p.m. Thursday and 3:20 a.m. Friday.

Police said the suspects stole the clerk's vehicle in the last Federal Way robbery. The vehicle was later recovered unoccupied at around 4 a.m. after it was involved in a hit-and-run collision. Read more

CPS closed case before Snohomish Co. child’s suspected fentanyl death

The grandmother of a Snohomish County child who died of suspected fentanyl exposure accuses the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) of not doing enough to protect the young girl, as a new state law raising the standard for removing children from a home is poised to take effect.

Avril, 1, died in early May after Danette Scott says she worked for months to get the state to remove Avril from the care of the baby's mother, who was using fentanyl. 

According to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Avril was staying with her 37-year-old mother on May 7 in an Everett hotel room, where “fentanyl was being smoked” when the child became unresponsive. Detectives believe fentanyl exposure likely led to her death, though toxicology reports are pending.  

“There was a clear path to protect this child and keep this baby alive,” said Scott, who called Child Protective Services (CPS) in December after she said she observed Avril’s mother smoking fentanyl around her grandchild. Read more

Black bear caught on video roaming Issaquah streets

Issaquah is bear country – and we are just living in it.

A black bear was spotted roaming Issaquah streets on Thursday in a video posted by the City of Issaquah.

But because this isn't Paddington 2, the city said recent reports of black bear activity in Issaquah should be a reminder to take precautions to avoid bear encounters. 

Unsecured garbage containers, pet food and birdfeeders can attract hungry bears in the spring and summertime, the city said in a bulletin. Read more

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