Safe injection sites could be signed into law by Gov. Newsom
LOS ANGELES - A controversial bill allowing drug users to inject themselves at safe sites may be signed into law Friday.
SB 57 passed the senate by slim margin and heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.
Newsom has unilateral discretion now to sign it or not. The bill’s pilot program proposes locations in a handful of cities including Los Angeles.
"People complain about seeing drug use out of the open," said homeless advocate Mark Horvath, "And now they’re complaining about drug use inside."
Mark Horvath is the founder of Invisible People and has been sober for 27 years. He says SB 57 is the radical solution to fix what he calls a failing system.
"I am sober because people loved on me until I could love on myself," said Horvath, "safe injection sites give people another chance."
Critics of the bill say it opens the door to more illicit drug use and all the baggage that can come with it.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Los Angeles one step closer to allowing safe injection sites
"I’m an eternal optimist to but I fear for the other cities," said Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa)
State Senator Ochoa Bogh opposed the bill and says safe injections sites make things worse.
"When we start creating a permissive environment for drug use those people that used to sit on the fence.. are now going to get off that fence," said Ochoa Bogh.
Advocates say we’re paying for it either way and that punishing addiction continues the cycle.
"Taxpayers are paying for people to get high," said Horvath, "they’re paying for EMT's, they are paying for police, they’re paying for all that money that comes alongside of drug use outside."
Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2018.