California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced Thursday his plan to roll out legislation that would allow “safe injection sites” in San Francisco and Oakland.
Citing the recent surge of drug overdoses in San Francisco, according to local CBS affiliate KPIX, Wiener joined San Francisco’s Democrat Mayor London Breed and San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax during a press conference in Boeddeker Park to announce the proposal.
Drug overdoses are way up. We must take new approaches to addiction.
Today at noon at Boeddeker Park in the Tenderloin, I’ll be joined by @LondonBreed, @LibbySchaaf & advocates to announce our plans for state legislation to legalize safe injection sites for SF, Oakland, etc.
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) October 8, 2020
“Wiener has long been an advocate for the sites, which allow drug users to safely consume in the presence of medical professionals who are equipped with the medication naloxone to prevent overdoses,” KPIX reported.
Wiener has been trying to get safe injection sites implemented since 2018, though his two previous attempts were vetoed.
Overdose deaths in San Francisco increased by 70% in 2019, according to Colfax, who said, “All signs point to this trend continuing in 2020.” The primary culprit in the rise of overdoses is fentanyl, according to the city’s Department of Public Health.
“We are in an emergency in San Francisco,” Colfax added.
Breed referred to her sister who overdosed, saying, “When you have people who you know and love who struggle with addiction, the thing that you want most for them is you want a better life for them, you want them to be able to get help, you want to make sure that that addiction doesn’t take their life. And that’s happened to me.”
“We can’t control people and their addiction, but what we can do is be there for them. And this is a way for being there for people. This is a way for providing a space that doesn’t judge them, so that when they walk through the doors, they’re not treated like a drug addict. They’re treated like a human being,” Breed said.
"Research shows that safe injection sites improve the health of people who use drugs. They increase access to treatment. They decrease public drug use. They prevent infectious diseases, & they link people to care." Hear more from Dr. Colfax discussing safe injection sites below. pic.twitter.com/5CVImZmYqC
— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) October 9, 2020
Wiener recently made headlines for introducing a bill in the California State Senate, later signed by Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, that allowed a judge the discretion to prevent someone convicted of gay sex with a minor from registering as a sex offender. He also was behind the 2017 bill that made knowingly exposing a partner to HIV a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
As The Daily Wire reported:
The California State Senate passed a controversial reform to its sex offender registry Monday that would allow a young adult who has gay sex with a minor to escape registering in some cases, based on a judge’s discretion.
SB145 finally passed the 40-member state Senate by a vote of 23-10, after first being introduced by California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) in 2019, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Wiener argued that the current law discriminates against LGBT youth because, as the Chronicle explained, “Under current law, a judge can decide whether to place a man who has vaginal intercourse with an underage teenage girl on the sex offender registry based on the facts of the case. But if anal or oral sex, or vaginal penetration with anything other than a penis is involved, the adult must register as a sex offender[.]”