Gavin Newsom Vetoes Bill to Expand ‘Safe’ Public Drug Use Sites

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed a bill Monday passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature to expand so-called “safe” drug use sites in major cities across the state.

As Breitbart News reported earlier this month: “Democrats in the California State Legislature passed a bill Tuesday to allow the expansion of “safe” drug use sites in major cities, despite the well-publicized failure of one such site in San Francisco’s notorious Tenderloin district in recent months.”

The bill, SB 57, provided:

This bill would, until January 1, 2028, authorize the City and County of San Francisco, the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, and the City of Oakland to approve entities to operate overdose prevention programs for persons that satisfy specified requirements, including, among other things, providing a hygienic space supervised by trained staff where people who use drugs can consume preobtained drugs, providing sterile consumption supplies, providing access or referrals to substance use disorder treatment, and that program staff be authorized and trained to provide emergency administration of an opioid antagonist, as defined by existing law. … The bill would exempt a person from, among other things, civil liability, professional discipline, or existing criminal sanctions, solely for good faith actions, conduct, or omissions in compliance with an overdose prevention program authorized by the city or the city and county. The bill would clarify that the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California is authorized to take disciplinary action against a licensee related to the operation of an overdose prevention program that violates the Medical Practice Act.

Newsom’s rare veto fueled speculation about his future presidential ambitions:

In a letter explaining his veto, Newsom said: “I am acutely concerned about the operations of safe injection sites without strong, engaged local leadership and well-documented, vetted, and thoughtful operational and sustainability plans.

“The unlimited number of safe injection sites that this bill would authorize – facilities which could exist well into the later part of this decade – could induce a world of unintended consequences.”

Newsom added that he remained “open to this discussion” once officials came back to the legislature with more “comprehensive” plans for safe drug use sites.



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