Pubdate: Tue, 21 Sep 2004
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2004 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Note: only publishes letters from state residents.
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- Police sought charges against two members of a
private, nonprofit agency for allegedly operating an unlicensed
needle-exchange program.

Police Capt. William Cochrane said show cause hearings were scheduled
for Oct. 1 for Michaelann C. Bewsee, 56, president of Arise for Social
Justice and Tory Field, 28, of Easthampton, a member of the group.

Cochrane said police found 380 unused hypodermic syringes, 62
hypodermic syringe preparation kits and used needles in a medical
container during a search last week of the agency's Rifle Street
office. Police sought a search warrant after an investigation lasting
several months, Cochrane told The Republican newspaper in

Bewsee told the newspaper that she and Field were withholding comment
upon advice of their lawyer.

Both face charges of unlicensed distribution of hypodermic syringes,
Cochrane said. Field also faces a charge of possession of marijuana.
Cochrane said a small amount of marijuana was found in her purse.

Arise was among a number of groups that held rallies in August in five
cities, including Springfield, in support of a bill that would allow
syringes to be sold without a prescription.

Springfield City Councilors rejected a proposed needle exchange
program six years ago, but City Councilor Bud Williams said he plans
to reintroduce the issue.

Currently, only Boston, Cambridge, Provincetown and Northampton have
needle exchange programs in Massachusetts. 
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