D.C. Decriminalizes Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia And Promotes Harm Reduction

MJ moment

A bill to decriminalize possession of drug paraphernalia for personal use and promote harm reduction was recently signed by the mayor of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) approved the measures to be enacted as part of the broader Opioid Overdose Prevention Act last week, and the legislation is now in a congressional review stage, as Capitol Hill lawmakers have unique oversight over the jurisdiction’s laws. In the meantime, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) celebrated the reforms, which they say will mitigate drug-related infections, reduce arrests and save lives. Beyond permitting possession of paraphernalia like pipes and syringes, it also allows for the distribution of harm reduction tools. The District of Columbia is the latest jurisdiction to decriminalize and expand access to harm reduction supplies criminalized under strict paraphernalia laws! @MayorBowser signed it into law this week as a part of omnibus overdose bill B23-0054. This is a huge victory for PWUD. — Drug Policy Alliance, National Affairs (@DPA_ONA) December 26, 2020 “What people often forget is that people use drugs in a whole bunch of different ways,” Queen Adesuyi, policy manager of national affairs for DPA, told WJLA. “I think in a time like now, where we’re dealing with a compounded public health crisis, with COVID-19 on top of the increasingly worsening overdose crisis in D.C., it’s not a better time than now to finally get past stigma.” Prior to the bill’s signing, possession of paraphernalia has been broadly prohibited. The local code is now set to be amended to clarify that possession “other than for personal use” is banned. “For the purposes of this section, the term ‘personal use’ means the possession of drug paraphernalia in circumstances where there is no evidence of an intent to distribute or manufacture a controlled substance,” the text of the measure states.…

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Source : D.C. Decriminalizes Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia And Promotes Harm Reduction

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