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Welcome to the Lawless Hellscape I Call Home

August 18, 2013

The mayor and city council have stated that the crime rate in Seattle is down, which is patently untrue. They make these claims with an asterisk.

“Good Citizens! Crime is down 100%!* Reelect us!”

(* “at the one house we’re talking about. Last year, it was burglarized. This year it was not. 100% reduction in crime! Reelect Mayor McGinn! He shares your views! Whatever they are! He will change his views to your views! To all of your opposing views! He agrees with all of you!”)

The overall crime rate in Seattle has remained steady over the last five years, and violent crime downtown and in neighborhoods south of downtown is up about 7% from last year. Confronted with these pesky fact-like facts, the official response was, “That’s only if you count assaults. If you don’t count assaults, it’s only up 4%. Because why would you count assaults? Let’s just eliminate assaults as a topic of conversation.”

Last week in downtown Seattle, a guy boarded a Metro bus and didn’t pay. The driver said, “hey, you have to pay,” and the passenger said, “naaaaah.” So the driver said, “no, really. You have to pay.” So the passenger shot him in the face.

Then there was this guy:

He was fun.

A few days before that, there was a report of some dude just walking around downtown punching random people in the face.

These are just the incidents I’ve heard about in the last three weeks or so. According to The Seattle Times, which used to be a newspaper I think, there were 119 reported incidents downtown over the past month, meaning about four per day. This is why I do my shopping at the mall.

You are probably wondering what the police department is doing about this. I am so glad I pretended you asked! I actually don’t know. But I’m going to guess … nothing? Yeah, let’s go with nothing. Not that they’re not busy, mind you. Yesterday, they ran “Operation Orange Fingers,” in which they gave out bags of Doritos at Hempfest, the annual festival for the mush-mouthed, slow-witted segment of our citizenry that favors smoking it up over things like non-inertia or speaking in coherent sentences. You might think I’m making this up, but you would be incorrect.

Supposedly, this was meant to educate the Hempfest attendees on what is and isn’t allowed since Initiative 502, legalizing recreational marijuana use in Washington, passed last fall. It was an excellent plan, really, because as I recall from high school, it was the stoners who were always the most interested in education. The SPD enriched the minds of Hempfest attendees via a sticker on each bag of Doritos and a sense of humor the likes of which you haven’t seen since, well, since high school, when your “cool” teacher would talk like a Conehead.

Photo: Graham Johnson, KIRO7

They say no tax dollars were used, but really that’s the least of the problems there. The apostrophes alone are an affront to society.

To add another layer of stupidity to the whole thing, there was this:

All righty then.

Despite rampant public smoking, selling, giving, and dear lord, shotgunning at Hempfest, no arrests were made. Hempfest has been held every year since 1991, and the police stopped making arrests or issuing citations there about ten years ago. So the lessons are these: first, if you want to break a specific law, create a festival celebrating it as the Revised Code of Washington apparently does not apply to festivals. And second, you should probably not go to the Public Urination Expo. It’s just a bunch of guys peeing.

  1. August 18, 2013 4:29 PM

    Dang, your neighborhood makes living in downtown LA seem downright tranquil.

    Oh, I don’t live in downtown, although my neighborhood seems to have become less safe as well in the last six or seven years. I feel like the whole city is turning into a Mad Max movie.

  2. August 18, 2013 4:50 PM

    One of my many unpopular political views is that I hate drugs and while I can see how medical marijuana is necessary for some people (given that pain management can be very tricky and not all pain killers work for all people), I admit it totally grosses me out to hear about people feigning illnesses so they can get it in states where medical marijuana is legal…

    Regarding de-criminalizing it, I also agree that it takes away substantial law enforcement resources to put people away for tiny amounts of pot and the laws are often unfairly enforced..but I still hate the drug. I know the argument that it is just ‘as bad’ as over-indulging in alcohol, but there are studies that show that people with a predisposition to schizophrenia are far more likely to develop the disorder if they smoke marijuana as well as studies about how it interferes with other vital daily life functions in heavy users. It’s not guilt-free, healthy high as it is sometimes portrayed.

    Apparently, inappropriate use of apostrophes is another side effect.

    I’m in favor of medical marijuana use, but I was on the fence about the initiative on recreational use and now I honestly can’t remember how I voted. I really don’t care if people want to abuse themselves, but whoever crafted the initiative was evidently high at the time because while it is now legal to use marijuana, it is currently illegal to buy, sell, or grow it. I guess people are supposed to I Dream of Jeannie cross their arms and blink their weed into existence. There’s currently a licensing process in place for people who want to sell it, but so far no one seems to know how it’s going to work and the main thing that’s happened is that with all the renewed attention on sales, the feds have stopped ignoring the medical marijuana businesses and have shut a few down here. Thus the net result so far is that it’s harder to get for people who are sick and need it and want to get it legally, and easier for people who don’t need it and don’t care how they get it. It’s like the most depressing legislative process Schoolhouse Rock ever.

  3. Lynne permalink
    August 18, 2013 5:49 PM

    Should I admit I have no idea what “shotgunning weed” means?

    Shotgunning is when one person takes a hit and then blows the smoke into the mouth of another person. Waste not, want not, I suppose. It looks as rude as it sounds.

  4. Bex permalink
    August 18, 2013 8:07 PM

    Around 500 homicides in Chicago last year! I want to move to Seattle.

    I keep reading about the homicide rate in Chicago and wondering when it became so deadly there. You guys need to stop hosting Murderpalooza.

  5. Marius permalink
    August 19, 2013 2:23 AM

    The better way to shotgun is to put the joint, carefully, in your mouth backwards, then have the recipient (preferably of a gender and level of attractiveness you find appealing) put the other end in their mouth and then you blow and they inhale at the same time. Or so I’ve heard. ;-) And did anyone eventually stop that asshole from breaking car windows?

    College professors seem to know a lot about weed. I assume it’s all the reading you do.

    I had to look it up, but the window guy was arrested in pretty short order. The story notes, “the metal bar is being held in evidence,” which makes me laugh. Like, oh, good thinking, SPD.

  6. August 19, 2013 8:53 AM

    I can only conclude that the people who drafted and approved that statement for the bags of snacks were themselves totally high because there is no other reason for the apostrophe debacle that is that label.

    I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t go with Do’s and Don’t’s. In for a penny and all that.

  7. September 2, 2013 9:15 PM

    I went into a head shop (do people still call them that?) because they used to have these pretty cool touristy t-shirts in the window, and I needed a souvenir for a friend (not a head shop t-shirt, a Ventura t-shirt). The guy behind the counter was sooooooo stoned that it was funny. When I asked about the shirt, he said, “Oooooh I remember those shirts” and was quiet for a long time after that, like he really WAS remembering those shirts. It must be pretty weird to have a job where the boss can come in and ask how you are and you can say “I am SO HIGH” and that’s all in a day’s work.

    I had a job in a bakery where we were supposed to eat one different thing every day so that if customers asked about an item we could give an honest answer. I guess your head shop was the same, except instead of apple fritters, it was bongs. It would be nice for him if your head shop guy had a second job in a bakery to alleviate what I’m sure are raging munchies, although it probably wouldn’t be so great for the bakery as I’m picturing him asleep in the empty donut case.

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