This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Just a few years ago, the Washington state legislature decriminalized hard drugs, following a ruling from the state Supreme Court.
It created an open season for the nefarious influences of chemicals in the state.
But now Bellingham once considered the "most hippie" location in the state, has moved to outlaw drug use entirely.
The decision follows a series of crises that included a 5-year-old girl who overdosed and died, and another in which a man died – and his body was left untouched for 12 hours before it was addressed.
Edwin Williams, a city council member, explained, "A man was sitting on the curb in a parking lot with his head bowed, right out in the open … and a police officer told me that he had been dead for at least 12 hours.
"It shocked me to my core."
The course reversal happened when city leaders became concerned about the number of overdose deaths. The city's fire department responded to more than two overdoses a day from January through April 12.
A report from Fox News reported Williams explained, "I have lived here for 30 years, and no, I haven’t seen anything like this. I would characterize our city as one that is trying and willing to bend over backward to help and provide people with programs to address either addiction or homelessness."
Now in Bellingham, open drug use is an "arrestable crime."
It's just two years after state lawmakers decriminalized hard drugs.
"The combination of COVID, the pervasiveness of fentanyl, and the state law being changed – pushed everything to the limit," Williams explained. "It was just the perfect storm, and at some point, something had to be done."
It was just five years ago that OnlyInYourState delivered the verdict that Bellingham was "the most hippie town in Washington."
But OD deaths jumped from 11 in Bellingham in 2018 to 89 in 2022, authorities said.