Lawmakers are taking up legislation Monday that would allow safe drug use sites to open in Massachusetts.
Two bills decriminalizing possession of controlled substances (S 1277 and H 2119) and three bills calling for safe drug consumption sites (S 1258, H 2088, and S 1272) are on the agenda for a Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery virtual public hearing Monday.
Supporters of the consumption sites bills, who have so far been unable to get their bills before the House and Senate for votes, say the sites could become a critical way to reduce opioid overdose deaths and steer people into treatment. The American Civil Liberties Union plans to testify in support of the bills.
Gov. Charlie Baker has publicly opposed safe injection sites, emphasizing that he prefers to remain focused on legal, evidence-based approaches. Safe consumption sites are currently illegal under federal law.
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The sites would allow people to use drugs in the presence of medical personnel and without fear of breaking the law. Lawmakers are holding a virtual public hearing Monday, which expected to run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.