California Assembly to Hear Safe Consumption Sites Bill in January

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After passing the California Senate with a vote of 21-11 at the end of April, SB 57 headed to the Assembly. There, it became assigned to the Assembly Health Committee. Under SB 57, California would offer safe consumption sites for illicit and illegal drugs to help the general public with overdoses, deaths, and recovery. SB 57’s sponsor, Senator Scott Wiener, D, waited for his bill’s hearing. 

However, Senator Wiener received a notification about SB 57. Unfortunately, he learned it would not be brought forward in the committee until January. While disappointing, this doesn’t mean SB 57 is dead. Unlike most states, whose legislative session lasts a few months to a full year, California’s session lasts two years. 2021 is the first year of a two year session. SB 57 remains active, albeit delayed until next year.

Senator Response

After hearing SB 57 received a delay until January 2022, Senator Wiener released an official response

“While I’m extremely disappointed that we are experiencing another delay in passing this life-saving legislation, which has passed both the Senate and Assembly twice in different forms over the past five years. I continue to be optimistic that we‘ll pass SB 57 and get it signed into law. San Francisco and other California cities are experiencing record overdose deaths… Safe consumption sites are a proven strategy to save lives and help people into recovery. I am deeply committed to this legislation, as is our broad coalition… I look forward to moving SB 57 forward in January.”

San Francisco has seen the largest uptick in opioid related deaths and overdoses across the state, mostly from the Covid-19 virus lockdown and continued pandemic. California safe consumption sites can help for those using opioids. There are less overdose and deaths around these sites. Medical staff can handle any situation almost immediately. There are also addiction and recovery programs partnered with or at the safe consumption sites to further help citizens recover in many different ways, including mental health help. 

Future

“In the meantime, I’ll continue to work this year toward new innovative approaches to address addiction and overdoses in our communities,” Senator Wiener continued. “I recently obtained $4.2 million in the state budget to fund a meth sobering center in San Francisco. And I’m authoring Senate Bill 110, which legalizes contingency management — financial incentives for people to stop using meth and stay sober. I’m also authoring Senate Bill 221 to ensure…people with mental health and substance use disorder needs receive timely access to care. Last year, I authored, and we passed, Senate Bill 855… (It) is the broadest and strongest mental health parity law in the country.”

It appears Senator Wiener remains committed to the health and safety of California citizens. He will continue to work on SB 57, along with other bills, to make life better for them. Another bill currently making its way through the California Assembly is SB 519. This would legalize the possession of psychedelics for citizens in limited amounts. It’s just another way that this Senator is working for the people. Additionally, Rhode Island’s governor recently signed a bill on safe consumption sites.

“I’m committed to this fight for our community’s future. We will get (this) done,” Senator Wiener finished.

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