Assembly Passes Bill To Expand State’s Needle Exchange Program To Cover Some Drug Paraphernalia
The Assembly yesterday passed a bill (SB 1734) that would allow public agencies to distribute certain drug-related paraphernalia to help sterilize needles and syringes, the Associated Press reports. Under current law, public agencies can distribute sterile needles as part of the state's needle-exchange program. The bill, passed by the Senate in May, would clarify the law to state that public agencies also may provide "other materials necessary to ensure the needle stays clean," such as cookers, sterile cotton and water. The legislation returns to the Senate, which will vote on amendments made to the bill in the Assembly. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), also has sponsored a separate bill (SB 1785) that would allow adults to purchase as many as 30 hypodermic needles at licensed pharmacies without a doctor's prescription. The Senate passed the bill in May. The Assembly has not voted on the legislation (Associated Press, 8/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.