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Council to vote on alternative measure to proposed ban on supervised injection sites

King County council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles is sponsoring a proposed ordinance that is an alternative to I-27. (KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- King County lawmakers are proposing an alternative to a February ballot measure that bans supervised injection sites.

Council memberJeanne Kohl-Welles is sponsoring a proposed ordinance that is an alternative to I-27.

"We believe there is a need to have supervised drug consumption sites using a harm-reduction model," Kohl-Welles said.

Kohl-Welles said she doesn't support I-27, which is headed to the ballot in February. The initiative bans proposed supervised injection sites across King County.

Five county council members support the proposed ordinance - a three-year pilot project that would allow up to two supervised injection sites. One in Seattle, and one elsewhere in King County.

"So the idea is to get people into a safe setting where there are health care professionals on hand to supervise the individual inject himself or herself," Kohl-Welles said.

If the person overdoses, life-saving drugs would be administered. The site would also provide information on prevention, treatment options and health services for those in need.

"We can't help people get into treatment if they are dead," Kohl-Welles said.

If the alternative measure to I-27 is adopted by the county council, it will appear on the February ballot alongside I-27, giving voters a choice.

Kohl-Welles said she believes the alternative measure will save lives.

Council members are expected to vote on the measure Monday, at which time a public comment period regarding the ordinance will also be held.

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