The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts says supervised injection sites for drug users would violate U.S. law and could lead to criminal charges.
The strongly-worded statement from U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling came as the state Senate weighed whether Massachusetts should create injection sites on an experimental basis.
Lelling made no reference to the Senate, but warned that regardless of any state law, drug users and employees at the sites would be exposed to federal criminal charges.
He warned against providing a "sanctuary" for illegal drug use.
The Senate voted Thursday to study the feasibility of operating so-called "harm reduction" sites as part of a broader bill to address the opioid addiction crisis.
Under the supervision of health care professionals, individuals with substance use disorders could inject drugs they obtained elsewhere.