San Francisco

Sen. Wiener Reintroduces Bill Pushing for Safe Injections Sites

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, announced Monday he's reintroducing state legislation that would allow San Francisco to implement safe injection sites—after a similar bill was vetoed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

According to Wiener's office, Assembly Bill 362 would create a three-year pilot program in which people suffering from drug addiction would be allowed to inject substances under the supervision of trained staff.

"Public drug injection reflects a failure in our healthcare system, and we have an obligation to try new approaches to help people get healthy," Wiener said in a statement on Monday.

"The status quo isn't working. People are injecting drugs whether or not we intervene. They're injecting on our sidewalks and parks, in transit stations and alleyways, and on people's front steps. Safe injection sites provide people with an opportunity to inject in a clean, safe, healthy environment, with healthcare professionals available to prevent overdoses, and an opportunity to offer people addiction, healthcare, housing and other services," he said.

The bill from last year, which was strongly supported by many city officials including Mayor London Breed, gained national attention and prompted U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to threaten to meet the opening of any safe injection site in the country with "swift and aggressive action."

With opioid addiction on the rise worldwide, safe injection sites have already been implemented in other places, such as Europe and Canada, and have been shown to prevent overdose deaths, reduce the spread of diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV, and help get users into services such as drug treatment programs.

The new legislation was authored by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, and Wiener.

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