Federal Court Gives Justice Department One Month To Respond In Safe Drug Consumption Case Following Extension Request

Federal Court Gives Justice Department One Month To Respond In Safe Drug Consumption Case Following Extension Request
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A federal court says the Justice Department can only have one additional month to respond in a lawsuit concerning the legality of safe drug consumption sites, rather than two months as DOJ requested this week. The Philadelphia-based nonprofit Safehouse that’s been fighting to open a harm reduction center since being blocked under the Trump administration says that it’s been willing to accept past extensions amid “productive” conversations, but it opposed DOJ’s latest two-month request. On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued a compromise order, agreeing to give the department one month to produce its response, which advocates hope will clarify the federal stance on safe consumption sites where people can use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised setting. “The United States shall respond to Safehouse’s Amended Counterclaims for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief by January 9, 2023, by way of answer or appropriate Rule 12 motion,” the order says. “Safehouse shall file any brief in opposition by January 23, 2023.” In February, DOJ said that it was “evaluating supervised consumption sites, including discussions with state and local regulators about appropriate guardrails for such sites, as part of an overall approach to harm reduction and public safety.” But harm reduction advocates’ patience is wearing thin. “We believed we were making progress when DOJ announced in February 2021 that it was ‘evaluating’ its policy toward supervised consumption services and talking to state and local regulators about ‘appropriate guardrails’ that could enable Safehouse and similar public health initiatives nationwide to offer such services without fear of federal criminal and civil enforcement,” Safehouse said in an email to supporters on Monday following DOJ’s extension request. “Safehouse did not consent to today’s DOJ request for more time.” Safehouse, in its motion of opposition filed before the court, said that the case…

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Source : Federal Court Gives Justice Department One Month To Respond In Safe Drug Consumption Case Following Extension Request

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