NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! A law that would have allowed large cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco to set up facilities where people could use narcotics under supervision was vetoed on Monday by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Democratic governor gave his justification by stating that SB 57’s limitless authorization of safe injection facilities “may provoke a world of unexpected consequences.”
While acknowledging the value of such facilities,
Newsom expressed concern that “If carried out without a solid plan, they would defeat the goal. We cannot take the chance of making the problems caused by drug use in these regions worse.”
The idea was to provide drug users with a safe location to inject narcotics, with trained staff on hand to assist in the event of an unintentional overdose. Opponents countered that the action would have effectively approved the use of harmful medications.
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The bill’s author, state senator Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, termed Newsom’s veto “tragic” and “a great missed opportunity.”
Sad day for CAs efforts to prevent drug deaths, according to a statement from Wiener.
London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, referred to Newsom’s veto as “disappointing” but declared that “we aren’t giving up.”
She tweeted, “Overdose prevention initiatives save lives and assist in linking people to services and treatment.”
To combat the “overdose epidemic,” the White House has announced funding for youth substance abuse programs.
Republican legislators in the unusual position of praising Newsom, a Democrat, as a result of the veto.
Senate GOP Leader Scott Wilk, whose members had recommended a veto in a letter to Newsom, stated that people who are addicted need help, not a legal venue to use drugs.
Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, who had also written a letter, added, “We ought to stop supporting criminal activity. As an alternative, programs that enable people to leave the streets in safety and reintegrate into society should be supported.
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San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tracy McCray also commended Newsom for stopping what she called “sanctioned drug dens” that would have “created misery and disruption for the citizens and businesses forced to be near to these sites.”
One of the most closely followed and divisive bills of this legislative session was SB 57. The idea was made in the midst of a national opioid crisis and a rise in overdose deaths.
Newsom previously shown his openness to the notion. Though he has often denied having any interest in running for president, his decision comes as he is subject to greater public scrutiny because he is seen as a potential candidate.
Newsom commanded his secretary of Health and Human Services to meet with municipal and county officials to examine best practices and standards, and he declared he was open to the idea after they presented suggestions for how the sites could be operated securely to lawmakers.