Commissioners discuss Mental Health Awareness Month
May 4, 2023
By Ian Brandon
Wahkiakum County commissioners on Tuesday heard procedural comments from the auditor's office, the WSU extension office grants coordinator and the public works department. However, the majority of the meeting focused on a proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
Representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services briefed the commissioners on their efforts to help Wahkiakum residents with mental health and substance abuse. The commissioners approved the proclamation unanimously and then began a discussion of the Blake decision, the failure of the legislature to amend it this year and what the county should do about it.
The Blake decision removed the felony penalty for drug possession and the state instituted a system of two warnings and then a possible misdemeanor charge if the recipient does not enter treatment. This stop gap measure sunsets on July 1st and makes drug possession legal. Sheriff Mark Howie commented that the counties themselves may have to pass measures criminalizing drug possession if they want to prosecute people for using or possession of drugs.