Safe Consumption Location Bill Passes California Senate

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The California Senate made a controversial move recently. They approved SB 57, which would legalize safe illicit drug consumption locations in San Francisco, Oakland, and LA counties. This progressive move to fight the opioid epidemic has created quite the stir among lawmakers and the public alike.

 SB 57

Under SB 57, various locations would offer a safe place for people to consume illicit, namely illegal, drugs. Trained professionals will also be at these locations. This is in order to react appropriately in case a person does happen to overdose on anything. The quicker someone can administer a drug antagonist, the higher chances someone has to survive an overdose episode. 

Addiction recovery services will also be offered to those who would like it. Having a safe place to talk to someone about addiction without judgement is a step towards recovery. And addiction isn’t easy to overcome. Knowing that people will still take illicit drugs but have a safe place to do so will definitely help decrease addiction rates and overdose deaths. 

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Wiener, took to Twitter to express his excitement about SB 57’s approval. Unfortunately, Senator Wiener also received some harsh criticism for focusing on this bill over other matters more pressing to the state. 

Opioid Epidemic

Unfortunately, drug overdose deaths are growing every year. And the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t help anything. Some states have reported an almost 100 percent increase in the amount of overdose deaths. These numbers will continue to grow unless something is done. California took the first step. 

As far as drug overdoses go, California is at the bottom half of the list. They have a low rate, even though they had the most number of people, 6,198 in total. It’s percentage based. So California sits at around 15/100,000 people die from drug overdose. 

The top five states for drug overdoses:

  • West Virginia 52.8/100,000
  • Delaware 48/100,000
  • Ohio 38.3/100,00
  • Maryland 38.2/100,000
  • Pennsylvania 35.6/100,000

But California has always been a more progressive state, so it’s no surprise that they are the ones making changes towards the opioid crisis.

Future 

Even through there is some harsh criticism from the public and other lawmakers, progress is progress. Helping those who are suffering is part of what lawmakers do. California became one of the first states to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis and have been seeing the benefits of legalization. Things will continue to get better for those who need it.

The House is the next chamber to review and vote on SB 57 and it’s been an unclear reaction to the bill. As more information continues to develop, we will update you with the latest. 

Make sure to check back for more cannabis and hemp related news.