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California Lawmakers Legalize Safe Injection Sites; GOP Wants a Veto

The California legislature passed a bill to legalize safe injection sites to address the spread of HIV and drug overdoses. The bill calls for supervised injection sites modeled after facilities active in some cities for decades. Studies indicate the sites can reduce overdoses from addictive substances, reports Courthouse News Service. Supervised injection facilities allow people to inject or smoke drugs under medical supervision in sterile conditions. The sites would not allow the exchange of illegal narcotics. nd are hoped to bring down overdoses caused by substances like fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine and prevent the spread of diseases like hepatitis and HIV.

San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles could operate the sites, which would also allow people to access addiction treatment and health resources. Harm reduction advocates have been seeking the sites for years. More than 100,000 people nationwide have died of an overdose on the streets, at parties or at home. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he is “very, very open” to the injection sites; his predecessor, ,Jerry Brown, vetoed a similar bill. San Francisco Mayor London Breed endorses the sites, although her district attorney appointee Brooke Jenkins, has called for harsher penalties for drug users and dealers on the streets of the city’s Tenderloin district. Senate Republicans want Newsom to veto the bill. Senate Republican leader Scott Wilk called the bill "one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation that I’ve seen sent to the governor," adding, "Leaving people on the streets in squalor, rather than getting them help, shows zero compassion."


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