|Posted:||April 6, 2020 09:17 AM|
|From:||Representative Martina A. White|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Safe Injection Site|
|A few weeks ago, Philadelphia made national headlines when a federal judge ruled in favor of allowing a nonprofit organization to open a safe injection site in a South Philadelphia community. Although the owner of the site eventually revoked the organization’s lease after public outcry, the fear that another site might open in a nearby community persists. These programs operate sites in which individuals bring pre obtained illegal drugs to use under the supervision of health care workers. While these professionals do not assist in the use of drugs, they typically provide the syringes and other equipment necessary to consume the drugs. The illicit activities that occur within these facilities negatively impact the surrounding communities as they face an increase in criminal and other unwanted activities.
That is why I will be introducing legislation that criminalizes the operation of any site that facilitates the use of illicit drugs through supervision and the provision of paraphernalia. My bill makes it a second-degree felony to intentionally or knowingly operate one of these sites. It also escalates the charges to a first-degree felony if the operation is within 1,000 feet of a school, college, or nursery school or day care center or within 250 feet of a recreation center or playground.
In addition, this legislation preempts municipalities from enacting their own regulations over the ownership or operation of these sites. It also gives the Attorney General of Pennsylvania concurrent jurisdiction to enforce these statutes.
Finally, it provides individuals who reside within one mile of a safe injection site with the right to civil relief.
Please join me in protecting communities across the Commonwealth by sponsoring this legislation.