Inslee Seeks $300 Million in New Funding for Mental Health
Governor Jay Inslee of Washington submitted a budget asking for $300 million to fund the state’s mental health system. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper asked his state to increase the funding for homelessness and for school counselors.
The first two states to legalize pot are grappling with a host of new public heath problems, including expanded homelessness.
Legalizing marijuana is costly and has many victims, including those who fall into the trap of mental illness. One hospital in Olympia reported earlier this year that it cares for one or two new psychotic patients every day. A spokesman blamed this rise on “dabbing.”
Three months ago in Washington, a Arcan Cetin, shot and killed five people at Cascades Mall. He suffered from PTSD, other conditions and used marijuana among other things. He had complied with court-ordered treatment, but the protocol was not working.
Documentation shows that he blamed marijuana for his problems. Records warned of “strong likelihood of similar future violations,” unless he was properly treated for mental health and substance abuse. An addictions counselor gave that warning. (Cetin is in the photo above – Brandy Shreve, AP)
Another victim of poor mental health delivery, Keaton Ferris, died over a year ago. A funny and loving young man, Ferris died of dehydration in the Whidby Island jail. Sad as the story goes, it seems as if his bipolar disorder was triggered by marijuana use.
Washington Police Shootings
Was the Tacoma shooter who shot and killed a police officer on November 30 a marijuana user? A SWAT team responded to a domestic violence call. The suspect used his 6-year-old and 8-year-old as human shields. Life is tough and setbacks occur, but people become so much more unhinged if they’re marijuana abusers.
In another incident only two weeks later, a man know for violent out breaks shot a policeman in Mt. Vernon, Washington. The suspect is now in custody after several hours of standoff.
Washington is more enlightened than many states when it comes to the treatment of mental illness, but foolish about pot. Legalizationcreates a problem and uses the revenue to solve problems it might not have otherwise (These problems also expand when widespread pot use expands with decriminalization and medical marijuana.)
The Governor of Washington also wants to overhaul the state’s mental health system. Gov. Inslee doesn’t say pot is an issue, but he probably knows pot is the issue. His efforts are honest and sincere. Other states considering change in marijuana laws also need a plan for the mental health care explosion.