California considers bill that would allow state-sanctioned ‘injection sites’ for drug addicts

Bryan Babb, DCNF

California lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow people to use illegal drugs in state-sanctioned sites.

SB-57, introduced by Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener in December 2020, would allow for supervised spaces where people could use illegal drugs with sterile equipment and receive emergency care if necessary. The “supervised injection sites” would be designed to prevent overdoses and give a space for drug use indoors rather than on the sidewalk, Wiener said, according to NPR.

If passed, SB-57 would allow the City and County of San Francisco, the City and County of Los Angeles, and the City of Oakland to authorize the supervised spaces, the bill reads. The bill gives local authorities, including police and public health officials, a chance to offer public comment on a new site prior to its opening.

San Francisco declared a state of emergency in December 2021 to address fentanyl drug overdose deaths. The number of accidental drug overdose deaths in Los Angeles jumped from 777 in 2010 to 2,340 in 2020, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in California as well as the U.S. generally since 2011, according to the bill. A similar bill allowing for safe injection sites was vetoed by former California gov. Jerry Brown in 2018, according to NPR.

State Sen. Scott Wiener did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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