Vermont Governor Vetoes Bill On Safe Drug Consumption Sites And Harm Reduction

Vermont Governor Vetoes Bill On Safe Drug Consumption Sites And Harm Reduction
MJ moment

Vermont’s governor recently vetoed a bill that would have created a working group tasked with crafting a plan to open safe consumption sites where people could use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment. At a time when more states are exploring and enacting bold harm reduction proposals to mitigate the overdose epidemic, and when even the White House is evidently embracing the broader strategy, Gov. Phil Scott (R) shut down a measure passed by the legislature that would have helped create a framework to authorize overdose prevention centers to operate. Scott wrote in his veto message earlier this month that “it seems counterintuitive to divert resources from proven harm reduction strategies to plan injection sites without clear data on the effectiveness of this approach.” As Filter noted, the legislation also contained provisions meant to increase other, less controversial harm reduction resources. But the governor focused on the proposed Overdose Prevention Site Working Group, suggesting that existing data on the efficacy of such facilities might not necessarily apply to Vermont because many prior studies have focused on more populous, urban areas compared to his state. Scott stressed that Vermont does currently “utilize harm reduction strategies, including syringe programs, distribution of Narcan, fentanyl test strips and comprehensive community education,” which he said are “proven, evidence-based approaches to saving lives.” “Unfortunately, this bill proposes to shift state policy and financial resources away from prevention and toward unproven strategies such as overdose prevention sites. It’s important to note that what little data exists on this approach is for sites located in large cities, so it’s not applicable to the vast majority of Vermont.” The governor went on to say that he’s awaiting the results of a bill he signed last year to decriminalize buprenorphine, which is commonly used to help people seeking…

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Source : Vermont Governor Vetoes Bill On Safe Drug Consumption Sites And Harm Reduction

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