California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed legislation that would have allowed three cities in California to open supervised injection sites. They have been shown in studies to reduce overdoses in those areas that have them.
Newsom vetoed Senate Bill 57 just hours Before it would have automatically become law. Newsom demanded that the state Department of Health and Human Services review other ways to prevent overdoses, including those related the the opioid crisis. He also recognized that it was “possible that these sites would help improve the safety and health of our urban areas,” but disagreed with the bill’s substance, stating that, “without a strong plan, [drug injection sites] could work against this purpose.”
Democratic colleagues in the state legislature are criticizing Newsom’s decision to veto the bill.
“California lost a huge opportunity to address one of our most deadly problems: The dramatic escalation in drug overdose deaths,” wrote state Sen. Scott Weiner, a Democrat from San Francisco. “By rejecting a proven and extensively studied strategy to save lives and get people into treatment, this veto sends a powerful negative message that California is not committed to harm reduction.”
Some also accuse Newsom of acting in his own interests rather than in the best interest California residents. Some believe that Newsom may be considering a run for president in the future. He may have vetoed legislation to avoid any potential repercussions.
“Governor Newsom would rather run for president in 2024 than save lives in our state,” said Brandon Weaver, who works in the communications office of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. “People will literally die because of this rejection of a strategy that’s proven to save lives as people continue to OD on our streets.”
“We are incredibly disappointed and heartbroken that Governor Newsom has put his own political ambitions ahead of saving thousands of lives and vetoed this critical legislation,” said Jeannette ZanipatinCalifornia State Director of Drug Policy Alliance.
“We don’t need additional processes. We need action. Without action, people are going to die,” Zanipatin added.
This is a serious issue for the whole country. the U.S. recorded more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths last year. California more than 10,000 residents died of a drug overdoseFrom March 2021 to February 2022
In recent years, several cities have looked at similar proposals to what Senate Bill 57 would allow. However, conservative pundits and politicians disagree. are vehemently opposed to supervised drug injection sitesThey are believed to encourage drug use and promote crime in nearby areas. And, as demonstrated by Newsom’s vote, many liberals are also not supportive of these proven public health measures.
These concerns, however, do not reflect reality. A study of drug injection centres in Alberta, Canada. contradicted a government report that wrongly said crime had gone upBecause of them, a 2014 review of 75 different studies found there was no increase in drug useBecause cities have established injection sites.
These sites do a great job in preventing deaths. New York City is one example. opened the nation’s first sanctioned supervised injection facility last yearThere were 5,849 people who received injections. They were able treat 123 fatal overdoses, which resulted in zero deaths.
Injection sites provide safe and controlled access for addicts to drugs. They also offer treatment options for those who use them.
“Moral or ideological objections to supervised consumption fall apart when we acknowledge the implications for people’s actual lives,” Travis Lupick, a journalistFor Truthout. “At a supervised injection site, users have better control over what they put into their bodies. They have autonomy, and are treated with respect.”