Strong Opposition to SB57
We strongly oppose to SB57 which opens government sponsored injection sites for all illegal drugs. It allows the usage of all kinds of heavyweight illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and opium, to the detriment of our society! This is terrible public health policy and will set an extremely bad precedent for other cities to follow. We strongly urge California legislators to definitely reject SB57 which, if passed, paves the way for eventual legalization of all drugs!
The claim by proponents of SB57 that their bill will reduce drug overdose deaths is factually wrong! Vancouver, after 18 years of operations of such a site, actually had a 1,000% increase in drug overdose death cases (from 172 per year to 1723 per year) as reflected by the statistics of British Columbia Coroners Service. Moreover, a study by the Province of Alberta in Canada found that drug overdose deaths increased by 64% in the areas adjacent to the injection site. Alberta thus stopped putting in new funding to open any more such site.
According to European Center for Monitoring Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMDDA), overdose drug deaths actually doubled five years after the introduction of drug injection sites in the Netherlands. It was more than double twenty years later. In fact, only 7 out of 49 European countries have such site (14.28%). The total number of European sites is about 75 to 80, far less than the 1,000 or more number claimed by the proponents.
In the words of former California Governor Brown, this proposal will never work and we need comprehensive efforts at both the state and local level instead. This baneful bill actually encourages the usage of illegal drugs since it is not mandatory for drug addicts to undergo drug rehabilitation after getting injection at the site. It further aggravates the problems of drug trafficking and drug addiction, and causing much more crime especially robbery near the sites which will become war zones. For example, Small Business Australia Executive Director Bill Lang said the government should compensate business owners within 1km of the Australian injection site for loss of earnings.
It, moreover, will put citizens at risk since drug addicts will likely drive after injection under the influence of prohibited drugs. Many more fatal traffic accidents will be the inevitable result! Even if they take public transportation, they are a safety concern to people or police around them especially if fentanyl, which can easily cause violent behavior, has been injected in the body.
What makes matters worse is that medical experts have pointed out that using drugs will increase the user’s chance of contracting covid-19 and affect his/her chance of full recovery.
Suffice it to say, as former Governor Brown has stated, the disadvantages of SB57 far outweigh the possible benefits. The government should accentuate on drug use prevention and treatment instead. Please definitely reject SB57! Thank you.