The highly anticipated drug bill that would have allowed three California cities to open supervised drug-use sites was vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom.
On Monday, Newsom vetoed Senate Bill 57, citing concerns that it would open the door to a “world of unintended consequences” by allowing unlimited sites in Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as the reason for his decision. He advocated for facilities on the “cutting edge of harm reduction” and declared his intention to conduct research into the topic.
If Joe Biden doesn’t run for president in 2020, California Democrats are looking at Newsom as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2024.
“There is no need for more research or task forces to determine the efficacy of safe consumption spaces. Decades of experience and countless scientific studies confirmed their efficacy, “Scott Wiener, a state senator, made the declaration after the bill was vetoed.
Pilot programs allowing drug use under the supervision of trained staff would be allowed under the measure in the cities of Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Proponents like Wiener cited examples of successful programs in other countries and developments in New York City, where supervised drug-use sites have been operating since November, preventing an estimated 400 overdose deaths.
The liberal base that supports Newsom, who is said to be considering a presidential run in 2024, pushed him to support the measure in order to reduce the number of drug-related deaths in the state.
Former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed similar legislation in 2018. Newsom had previously stated that he was “very, very open” to launching a test initiative.
Brown reportedly wrote at the time, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, that “enabling illegal and destructive drug use will never work.” It is imperative that the community has access to laws that mandate treatment that is both compassionate and effective.
Republicans, who have been vocal opponents of the legislation, urged Newsom to veto the bill in a letter earlier this month, arguing that the drug-use sites would allow addicts to obtain drugs without the proper strings attached, such as mandatory drug treatment.
They argued that the bill would divert attention away from the more pressing issue of creating state-run drug rehabilitation centers. “Adding more drug dens and needle supplies to an already catastrophic drug problem is like throwing gasoline on a forest fire. It makes things even worse. We humbly ask for your veto due to these concerns.”
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The three cities involved in this conflict are all trying to cope with escalating drug and homelessness problems. For instance, since 2020, over 1,600 people are estimated to have died in San Francisco from opioid overdoses, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Needless-to-needle exchange programs are just one of many drug-prevention initiatives that have been implemented in a variety of California cities.
Currently, only two states, New York and Rhode Island, have legalized supervised drug use sites.
Daily Examiner of the Nation’s Capital Video Results for “War on Drugs,” Gavin Newsom, News, and California
The original author was Ryan King.
Originating Place: Three California cities were set to get drug injection sites, but Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed the bill.
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