Pubdate: Wed, 06 Apr 2016
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2016 Associated Press
Author: Alison Noon, Associated Press


Lawmaker's Proposal Comes As S.F., Other Cities Weigh Sites

SACRAMENTO (AP) - A lawmaker wants to allow California addicts to use 
heroin, crack and other drugs at supervised facilities to cut down on 
overdoses, joining several U.S. cities considering establishing the 
nation's first legal drug-injection sites.

The proposal introduced Tuesday comes as San Francisco, Seattle, New 
York City and Ithaca, New York, weigh ordinances to set up the 
facilities, citing the success of a site operating in Canada since 2003.

But law enforcement has opposed the move in California, saying it 
will worsen addiction. And lawmakers seemed reluctant to support it, 
postponing a committee vote.

Though federal authorities have taken a hands-off approach to states' 
legalization of marijuana, it's not clear how they would respond to 
facilities permitting users to shoot up hard drugs.

The bill from Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman would 
make it legal for local and state health departments to allow the use 
of controlled substances in clinics that would offer medical intervention.

Supporters say the facilities would reduce deaths and transmissions 
of HIV and hepatitis C.

"Addiction is a health care issue, and I think it's high time we 
started treating it as a public health issue, versus a criminal 
issue," Eggman said. "This bill is one step to be able to address the 
heroin addiction and epidemic of overdoses that we're having in our country."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom