Life isn't like in college full of debauchery and little of how our actions affect others . The public space is a space where we all have the responsibility to ensure that our enjoyment doesn't trample on others. Including:
- Not speeding on a street. (it's not a road, it's a street)
- Cleaning up for yourself
- Not making a nuisance of yourself
- Not taking drugs/booze at the playground 
- Ignoring the "dogs on a leash" or "no dogs allowed" sign
 Don't worry. If you're intoxicated or doing drugs in my kids playground, I'm calling the police. Why does my kid have to dodge your drunk ass or your syringes to get to the slide?
there's a difference between a guy quietly enjoying a beer on a park bench and a drunk plowing through children on a playground. you don't need a blanket ban on public use just to have an excuse to arrest people who are actually harming others. unless you're arguing that the mere sight of people being on drugs/alcohol harms you. in that case I propose that we also make it illegal not to bathe. dirty people make public spaces "unliveable" for me.
Number of times I've been driven from a train, street car or bus because someone's BO was goning to make me barf, dozens.
Number of times I've been driven from a train, street car or bus because someone was using drugs, 0.
I've literally had my kid with me when someone's been injecting in a public space and while it wasn't my favorite moment in life it still wasn't a big deal. He asked me about it and I explained that the man was injecting something like medicine but that it is mostly not good like medicine usually is. And I explained that he probably shouldn't be doing it there but that he probably couldn't think right and no longer understood when it was appropriate to do something like that.
My kid understood and as far as I can tell and was not traumatized. Literally he got over something most adults can't and he's 7. Why? Because instead of going into grossed out, full panic, cover your virgin eyes mode I explained it, with words.
Imagine a kid, who has vivid memories of getting vaccinated and anyways knows sharp things are terribly painful, seeing a guy stick a needle in his arm. That's the stuff kid's nightmares are made for.
I'll give my kid (as young as two) a bill to give a homeless. I don't want them ever to not see the humanity of any individual. But I do not accept that their innocence is stolen from them!
To me, the benefit of sheltering my child is not worth the cost of forcing hundreds to thousands of people a month through the criminal justice system which will invariably make their entire lives much worse.
For now, that dichotomy represents our options. I will support state intervention when people are ready to let the government intercede in less life impacting ways and people are willing to put significant money behind some public interventions other than imprisonment.
But I will not advocate contribution to the ruination of lives to save myself or my child some unpleasantness.
For certain things, it's reasonable to police Behavior A rather than Behavior B. One could imagine speeding not being illegal, and punishing people extra for accidents if they were speeding. Society quite reasonably chooses to enforce the behavioral norms at an earlier stage. Likewise, if your kid almost steps on a syringe in a park (this is not uncommon in D.C.), what do you do? Arrest the guy who dropped it there?
I don't mind a quiet beer in public spaces. It's one of the things I enjoy about Savanah GA. But Americans (I'm not) seem unable to quietly enjoy a beer in a public spaces without becoming obnoxiously drunk.
Did I feel unsafe? Yes. These streets were also filled with seemingly average-joe locals who did not give a damn about any of the things I saw that freaked me out, though, and I saw cops a few times that day (not just the ones who showed up for what I'm assuming was an OD a few blocks from me), so I figured statistically, at least during the day, it probably wasn't that unsafe...
Yes, I saw people setting up to smoke crack on the sidewalk of a busy street. Yes, I saw a man making sure there weren't air bubbles in his needle. Yes, the detritus if drug paraphernalia was everywhere. Yes, I walked right past the front door of a crack den blaring music, with trash (largely composed of burnt foil) piling up around doors and windows. Yes, there were used needles all over the place.
The blatant drug use shocked me, but it's not what had me on edge that whole goddamn day.
That day, I saw dozens and dozens of people who, if I'd met in other situations, I'd think should be in a hospital. It was, to me at least, some serious post-apocalyptic shit. I'm not new to the appearance of long-term addicts, but this was another level.
I watched a band playing music in a park for a few minutes, before an unhinged man started screaming and yelling all kinds of nonsense. I watched a woman weaving all over the sidewalk, tearing at her clothes, crying. I watched a man covered in scrapes and cuts shuffle down the sidewalk, take off a shoe, then continue shuffling, and I can't even begin to figure out how to explain how wrong he looked. I walked by so many frail, disease-ridden bodies, and so many people acting terrifyingly _wrong_, I don't have words to describe how I feel about it.
There were times my brain said "oh shit, do we need to call an ambulance?" in the middle of a busy sidewalk, but everyone acted like nothing was happening.
I'm not sure what to do about this. I live in the SeaTac area, and am also concerned that Seattle will become as bad as Vancouver. I'm worried that policies like this result in an influx of vagrant drugusers. I'm worried that both this policy and resultant increase in users will make it even easier for dealers, who will flourish with the more stable user base. I'm worried that between easier availability, more obvious useage, and a dozen other factors, it will be even easier for people who find themselves homeless in Seattle to try crack or heroin (etc), and even harder for them to come back from that.
No, I don't think people's chance of livelihood should be harmed by a drug record. I'm just not certain this is the solution.
What most impacted me was a homeless man that collapsed and everyone walked over him as if he weren't there. What humanity! West Coasters will allow this man to destroy himself with drugs and booze, but will walk over him as he collapses.