Bills To Boost Legality of Needle Exchanges Await Decision From Governor
Details of the Bills
SB 41, by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), would allow physicians, pharmacists and workers at approved programs to offer a limited number ofÂ syringes without prescriptions.
AB 604, by Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), would direct California's Department of Public Health to sanction needle-exchange programs in communities where the agency believes there is a public health risk.
Debate About the Bills
Health advocates argue that providingÂ sterile syringes to injection drug users can helpÂ curb the use ofÂ non-sterile syringes that mightÂ expose them to blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
Opponents of needle-exchange programs argue that the practice helps those who are addicted to drugs harm themselves (Marcum, Los Angeles Times, 9/19).
KQED's "The California Report" recently reported on the two measures that await a decision by Brown (Daniel, "The California Report," KQED, 9/16).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.