Pubdate: Sat, 14 Aug 2004
Source: Oklahoman, The (OK)
Copyright: 2004 The Oklahoma Publishing Co.


THE VILLAGE - A new city law passed this month may make it more difficult 
for drug abusers to gain access to hypodermic syringes. City council 
members passed an ordinance Aug. 3 banning the sale of hypodermic syringes 
and needles to anyone who doesn't have a prescription from a physician or 
veterinarian. The law took effect immediately.

Local pharmacists, who wanted to prevent drug abusers from obtaining 
syringes, contacted city officials to request the change, City Manager 
Bruce Stone said.

Stone said council members discussed drawbacks of the law, including other 
uses people might have for syringes, but decided regulation was more 
important. Possession of hypodermic syringes was not outlawed.

However, existing municipal paraphernalia laws ban the use or possession of 
syringes for purposes related to illegal drugs, he said.

Pharmacies Post Signs

Officials at Eckerd, 2103 W Britton; Walgreens, 2100 W Britton; and 
Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, 9320 N Pennsylvania, said they have posted 
signs notifying customers and employees of the new law.

Bryan Potter, executive director of the state Pharmacy Board, said no state 
laws regulate the sale of hypodermic syringes, but that many pharmacies 
have policies prohibiting their nonprescription sale.

"Pharmacies usually don't sell them to just anyone who walks in the door," 
Potter said.

Customers might not know the correct syringe for their medication because 
different types of drugs can require different size needles. For example, 
intravenous glucose requires a much larger needle than insulin, Potter said.

Anyone convicted of breaking the new law could face a $500 fine and up to 
60 days in jail, Stone said. 
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