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Scott D. Wiener
Senator Scott D. Wiener. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Bill to Create Drug ‘OverDose Prevention Program’ Injection Sites Delayed Until Next Session

SB 57 will next be heard in January in the Assembly Health Committee

By Evan Symon, July 7, 2021 2:28 am

A bill to create drug overdose prevention programs, including providing a “place to inject drugs while trained staff are available to help if they suffer accidental overdoses,” was pulled from the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, with the committee instead placing it to be heard next year.

Senate Bill 57, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would have authorized overdose prevention programs in the City and County of San Francisco, Los Angeles County, and the cities of Los Angeles and Oakland. These programs would provided a hygienic space supervised by trained staff where people who use drugs can consume pre-obtained drugs. Sterile consumption supplies, as well as access or referrals to substance use disorder treatment and opioid antagonist trained program staff, would have also been made available to all those who took advantage of the program. All people in the program would be exempt from civil liability, professional discipline, or existing criminal sanctions, solely for good faith actions, conduct, or omissions in compliance with an overdose prevention program authorized by the city or the city and county.

All affected areas would have also given local law enforcement officials, local public health officials, and the public to comment on the program before introduction.

SB 57 proved to be very controversial with Senate Republicans, as well as many Senate Democrats, voting against the bill 21-11, 8 not voting, passage in April.

Senator Wiener remained adamant that the bill was necessary throughout May and June, saying that safe drug use was essential to overall recovery.

“Safe consumption sites are a proven strategy to save lives and help people into recovery,” noted Senator Wiener in a statement. “Forcing people to use drugs on our streets doesn’t make anyone safer. Let’s, instead, take a public health approach to drug use, with trained professionals who can provide clean supplies, overdose prevention medication, and access to drug treatment programs.”

However, an overly full docket, partially caused by a high number of bills being delayed until this session due to the COVID-19 pandemic legislative session delays last year, as well as concerns over a continuing legal case over a similar injection site in Philadelphia that has been blocked by the Appeals Court, pushed out SB 57 until next year.

A delay in voting on overdose prevention programs/injection sites

Supporters were disappointed with the decision on Tuesday, noting that the decision would hurt current addicts by not giving them a safe place to take drugs for at least another half a year. However, many saw the silver lining and vowed to help tweak the bill to help bring in hesitant Democrats and Republicans who have remained against the bill.

“We’re advancing legislation to authorize safe consumption sites in SF, Oakland, LA,” tweeted Wiener on Tuesday. “It passed the Senate. The Assembly Health Committee informed us the bill will be heard in January. While we’re disappointed in the delay, we’re committed to moving the bill fwd in January.”

Opponents celebrated the delay but also vowed to continue fighting against it to the vote next year.

“This time around we can’t rely on a Governor veto,” explained “James,” a law enforcement officer opposed to the plan. “Brown did it to a similar bill a few years back. Newsom really hasn’t given an indication, likely because he still wants to keep what law enforcement support he still has for the recall. If someone replaces him, probably veto. But that’s getting ahead.”

“Right now there are a lot of lawmakers against this, but as the Senate vote proved, there is not enough. We’ve been telling anyone who will listen just how unsafe these centers can be, as well as the fact that they are committing crimes there. We’re all for rethinking what to do about the drug problem, like focusing more on suppliers and dealers rather than users, but this is going too far, too fast to many of us.”

SB 57 is expected to be heard again in the Assembly Health Committee next session beginning in January.

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11 thoughts on “Bill to Create Drug ‘OverDose Prevention Program’ Injection Sites Delayed Until Next Session

  1. Perhaps Senator Scott Wiener can author senate bill 357.

    This program would provided a safe space supervised by trained staff where gang members who murder with guns can fire pre-obtained guns. Ammunition consumption supplies, as well as access or referrals to anger disorder treatment and a firearm safety trained program staff, would be available to all those who took advantage of the program. All people in the program would be exempt from civil liability, professional discipline, or existing criminal sanctions, solely for good faith actions, conduct, or omissions in compliance with a murder prevention program authorized by the city or the city and county.

    The “Babylon Bee” has it so easy in California.

  2. Scott Wiener is hyper focused on drug use whether it be “safe consumption”, legalizing psychedelic drugs, creating “safe “injection sites, etc..
    WHY?

  3. I never thought I’d have to pay to support a drug addict’s habit let alone pay to have someone qualified inject the drugs for them when their hands are to shakey to do it themselves. Sounds like a real WEINER idea.

  4. Wait a minute!

    so city of SF decides to hand out syringes knowing that they will be used for illicit drug use.
    CA declares Marijuana legal in the state
    Weiner pushes for more drugs to be legal the psychedelic ones (LSD, Shrooms, Ecstasy)

    and NOW he is pushing for an overdose injection program…..c’mon really? seems that legalizing these made it more necessary that Overdoses will happen more frequently…so we need a bill for it.

  5. Why the incessant focus on drugs, Weiner???

    Is it because that’s what you’re HIGH ON when you draft every piece of your legislation???

    Of course, what else would we suspect out of San Franfreakshow???

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