Military and Police

Opioids Found in Shellfish in Puget Sound While Seattle Facilitates Fester

Society is now learning about Seattle’s drug-encouraging political environment in a different and unexpected way. According to a CBS News report, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) scientists have discovered that opioids have contaminated mussels. Some of these shellfish were moved from an aquaculture plant on Whidbey Island to several sites around Puget Sound, just off Seattle’s coastline, and collected a few months later.

According to, mussels are found everywhere in the world but mostly in cool seas, such as Puget Sound. Mussels are important because they are a “red-flag” species. As “filter feeders,” concentrated contaminants in their environments seep into the mollusk’s tissues, but they don’t metabolize them so feel no ill effects. Scientists can then measure amounts of various substances, such as opioids, in the creature.

This is how it works: Humans consume an opioid like oxycodone, they go to the bathroom and flush, and their excretions wind up at the local treatment plant. However, the treatment plant cannot completely remove drugs from the water it discharges to the sea. The result, in this case, due to the extraordinary number of opioid users in the Seattle area, is the presence of trace amounts of opioids in the mussels. While opioids don’t affect mussels, they may affect salmon and other organisms, like Zebrafish, that scientists say actively devour the substance.

WDFW scientists collected mussels and transplanted those clean mussels in 18 Puget Sound area locations. After several months, WDFW retrieved the transplanted mussels from the sound. Along with the Puget Sound Institute, the WDFW retested the mussels. Mussels from three of the sites confirmed trace amounts of oxycodone. Scientists also found antidepressants and a chemotherapy drug present in the shellfish.

This find seems to be indicative of the breadth and scope of the opioid epidemic, especially in the Seattle area. CBS noted “[T]he discovery of opioid-positive shellfish in Puget Sound is a stark new milestone in the epidemic, showing that enough humans are hooked on these life-altering drugs for the trace chemicals they excrete to register in other species in our coastal waters.” And Seattle continues to exacerbate the problem with inane, leftist policies and ordinances.

Despite Seattle being a financially booming, highly teched, and highly caffeinated metropolis, the city has enormous social and infrastructural problems. The single biggest reason for these problems is the Emerald City’s enormously inept and corrupt city clowncil. Its anti-cop mayor and city attorney don’t help, either. These shining personae revered in the pantheon American leftist cities are currently doing everything they can to turn boon to bust.

One thing they’re doing is promoting their misguided, ideology-driven priorities. They consistently put lawbreakers above law-abiders—not to mention, law enforcers. Some of those law-breakers are the vagrants living in illegal encampments, causing blight and crime all over the city, and who are covered by the city with the insulating blanket of virtual criminal immunity.

(Credit: Facebook/Shannon O’Donnell KOMO)

It seems the so-called homeless and so-called crisis takes up the majority of their time and virtue signaling. Oh, yeah…and they just voted to tax the city’s biggest businesses—Amazon, Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, etc.—to address the above-mentioned crisis, which includes opioid abuse. A crisis that only seems to get worse with the increasing money the city spends on it because they refuse to do the things that actually work, like enforcing the law.

The Seattle City Council just passed the now infamous “head tax,” which places a surtax of $275 dollars per employee annually. Ostensibly, it would go to fund programs to “help” the “homeless,” including many drug addicts. Ironically, in this liberal, moderate, and right vs. far-left and socialist dustup, Amazon and Starbuck’s are helping to fund, with large cash donations, an effort launched by opponents to repeal the head tax before it goes into effect in 2019.

Another big city clowncil-spurred problem is its tolerance of drug-driven crime and encouragement of drug abuse. Now, as a libertarian, with my commitment to consistency, I believe in an individual’s right to ingest substances as they wish. But they must be held strictly accountable for their behavior while under the influence. Also, the government should not make drug use easier, especially by financially supporting it, which is one thing for which Seattle is so infamous. For example, they’ve been advocating for heroin injection sites, de facto legalizing this opioid, for years.

“Seattle is considering safe injection sites for heroin addicts in order to get more of them into treatment. Do you think this is a good idea?” (Credit: Facebook/KING 5)

Across the nation, more people are taking this drug scourge seriously, both in government and the private sector. However, as long as we have cities such as Seattle making street drug use easier, instituting policies that actually facilitate narcotics dependency while prohibiting their cops from enforcing laws, the opioid crisis will not only remain but will also burgeon. What a legacy for Seattle’s incompetents currently on the city clowncil. But it was predictable.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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