California lawmaker proposes legal drug-injection facilities

California lawmaker proposes legal drug-injection facilities

A California lawmaker wants the state to establish legal drug-injection facilities where addicts would be able to use hard drugs like heroine and receive medical intervention, in case of emergency.

Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman has introduced a new bill that would allow local and state health departments to clinics for addicts to use controlled substances under supervision.

Eggman and other supporters of the bill say such clinics would help in reducing deaths from drug overdoses as well as decrease incidents of HIV and hepatitis C transmissions. She stressed that the issue of addiction should be treated as a public health issue, and not as a criminal issue.

Canadian Senator Larry Campbell, who helped set up a legal drug-injection facility in Vancouver, joined Eggman in Sacramento in support of her bill.

Supporting the proposal, Campbell said, “The drug is illegal, but the person who’s using that drug is suffering from a recognized medical disease. What this does is simply treat the addiction, keep somebody alive and keep them off the streets.”

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesperson Michael Shavers said the proposed facilities would violate federal law that bans certain hard drugs like heroin. California law enforcement agencies have also opposed the proposal, saying it would worsen addiction in the state.