The Senate Judiciary Committee never fails to entertain. Yesterday, it passed Senate Bill 5516, the bill that would provide limited legal immunity to people who


Overdose Prevention Bill Survives Pam Roach's Desperate Housewives- and Enumclaw Horse Sex Case-Inspired Concerns

The Senate Judiciary Committee never fails to entertain. Yesterday, it passed Senate Bill 5516, the bill that would provide limited legal immunity to people who call 911 to report drug overdoses. This legislation (which we wrote about previously) has been proposed for five straight years and has yet to make it to a floor vote.

The bill survived an attempted amendment by Auburn Senator Pam Roach, who invoked the Enumclaw horse sex case and Desperate Housewives in several long-winded hypotheticals.

Roach's amendment would have struck the language protecting the person making the call from non-contraband property seizures, though she appeared to be suffering from a misunderstanding of the bill. Washington's drug laws enable law enforcement to pretty much seize the whole farm on the argument that it was either involved in drug sales or purchased with the proceeds thereof. If the owner can't manage to get the stuff back via legal proceedings, the drug squad can sell it and keep the proceeds for themselves.

The bill prevents those types of seizures, not seizures of stolen property, or contraband. Still, Roach's concern is with the latter. Take it away, Pam:

So you go to a house that actually has a garage by it, and in the garage, that's where all the jammin' stuff is. That's where you have the drums, that's where you have the guitars, and that's where they've been doing their drugs and having a great time. And in that garage, there are these boxes of computers and other stolen goods because that's where you store it, cuz the other place is where you have your other kind of fun, in the bedrooms. Okay, so my concept is, is that, my gosh, the police could come in, they could actually come into the spot where the stuff is stored, and not be able to do anything about it?

Senator Hargrove then points out that the bill provides immunity from Controlled Substance Act prosecutions and seizure of non-contraband property, not stolen goods. Later, someone asks Roach, basically, why the fixation on the garage? Her response:

Cuz that's where they're jammin' with their drums and they''ve gotta watch Desperate Housewives to know where they jam...the Chair, he obviously watches Desperate Housewives and is very embarrassed about it...I can't wait to argue on the floor about this

And we can't wait to hear it. But she's not done. Next up: Enumclaw horse sex:

It reminds me of my case out on the Enumclaw plateau, where somebody was messing around with a horse and got really, really damaged because they did it. And they, their buddies took them away from the scene of the crime [Ed note: was not a crime at the time] and threw them on, and threw this guy or laid him on the steps of a hospital.


Now if you have this kind of problem you take the victim out of the house and put them on the lawn or in the alley, wherever you might--and cover 'em up with something and call, and then there's no reason to go in the house. But in this case, I'm afraid that if you do see something that looks really suspicious you will not be able to use the 911 call at all--of course you would not be able to to go back in, because you have noticed stuff that looks a little bit like it's illegal.

In other words the call will be a protection against further search because, in a defense, the person that's been breaking the law can use the fact, "no judge they got this information in the lead because they've come in the house and seen this stuff," and who's not gonna believe that? Because you woulda had have had all these cops you woulda had the EMTs waltzing through the house seeing this and that's exactly what they'll argue and they're gonna get off even if the cops--excuse me, law enforcement--decides that they were able to find another way to have a lead that that stuff was in the house it just makes it, it hinders law enforcement.

And anyone that cares about the friend is gonna take the friend outside the door for fresh air and a little help anyway, they're not stupid people, they're drug-affected people

Finally, to clarify:

I just wanna again state the door well has something big to do with what's going on here and most people would find no problem at all with taking their friend out on the front porch.

[At this point, someone (Senator Hargrove?) offers "or the lawn"]

Or the lawn, which is much more comfortable. These are people that don't have broken backs, they're not gonna risk a neck hurt, but if they're outside of the hall to be received by 911 it solves all these problems without getting into whether we're gonna let people off for crime.

Roach's amendment having been rejected, the bill moves on to the Senate Rules Committee in its original form.

We've embedded the hearing below. The fun starts at around 58:00:

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