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Ridge state pol pushing bill to ban supervised injection sites

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Mayor DeBlasio’s plan to open a local facility where drug users can inject heroin under the supervision of trained-overdose technicians could collapse, if state legislators approve a new bill introduced by a Bay Ridge state pol.

Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis — whose Staten Island district stretches to include parts of the Ridge — on Feb. 11 introduced the legislation in her chamber, which if passed would create a state-level check on the scheme Hizzoner says will help Kings County addicts.

A state law explicitly prohibiting so-called safe-injection centers would go beyond existing federal statues used to challenge such facilities, ensuring there is no gray area when it comes to debating their legality, Malliotakis said.

“Sadly, we have seen firsthand that Mayor DeBlasio has a complete disregard of our federal laws, so it’s necessary to spell it out in state law that his proposed injection sites are illegal,” she said.

Last year, DeBlasio announced a plan to open four of the centers throughout the city — including one inside an existing needle-exchange facility on the Boerum Hill–Gowanus border — in response to the 1,441 overdose deaths within the five boroughs in 2017, New York City’s “deadliest year on record,” according to a Health Department study.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez — who already largely decriminalized pot possession in Brooklyn, and instituted policies that offer convicted drug users alternatives to incarceration — immediately pledged his support for the proposed facility, vowing to abstain from prosecuting addicts who inject at the site.

Proponents of safe-injection sites in other United Sates cities, however, have faced legal challenges to their plans from the Feds. Earlier this month, Department of Justice officials sued a do-good group over its scheme to open a facility in Philadelphia, claiming the center would violate the Controlled Substances act of 1970, which prohibits the operation of any establishment “for the purpose of unlawfully using a controlled substance,” according to a federal complaint document.

Malliotakis, who unsuccessfully ran against DeBlasio in the 2017 mayoral election, turned to the Feds in her own effort to sabotage his safe-injection site scheme, last year writing to then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to complain about what she called Hizonner’s “heroin-shooting galleries.”

Session’s staff subsequently assured the assemblywoman that federal agents stand ready to crack down on any sanctioned drug use, according to the legislator, who said she worked with Republican state Sen. Fred Akshar, who represents counties upstate, to craft and introduce her bill as an added measure to squash the city’s scheme.

Instead of wasting time and money on sites that promote continued drug use, DeBlasio should invest resources into opening more treatment centers that provide bespoke programming to get addicts off their narcotics of choice, Malliotakis said.

“The DeBlasio administration continues to enable dependency with its push for supervised-injection sites, instead of fighting to end addiction with smaller treatment centers that give individualized attention to people’s addiction,” she said.

Malliotakis’s bill is far from a sure thing, however, now that Democrats hold a majority in the Legislature, and because Gov. Cuomo already signaled support for DeBlasio’s scheme, directing state health officials to find solutions to the intricate legal challenges that opening such facilities poses, according to a spokeswoman for the governor.

“We have been actively working with advocates and the city on their proposal, and how to address the very real threat of federal legal challenges,” said Hazel Crampton-Hays.

The mayor’s press office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 3:01 pm, February 18, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Veronica from Park Slope says:
So the mayor wants to pay people to shoot drugs into complete strangers?
Feb. 18, 2:36 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Put this —— on Wilhelm’s block. This guy wants to dump crap everywhere except where he lives.
Feb. 18, 3:31 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Currently in recovery from marijuana addiction. I had it so bad i made sexual favors to get money for drugs and even performed sex acts on homeless men for drugs. Any help is better than no help at all. Please have compassion for your fellow man. I am 38 days sober.
Feb. 18, 4:11 pm
Don from Queens says:
Liberal Governor of California, Jerry Brown's Veto Message for Injection Sites: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/AB-186-veto-9.30.pdf An audio interview between a Denver, CO on-air personality and a City of Vancouver, BC employee. The Vancouver, BC/Canada, program known as "Insite." Simply put, "Insite" is a disaster according to this Vancouver city employee. AM710 KNUS News/Talk https://710knus.com/content/all/no-safe-sites
Feb. 18, 7:11 pm
Somebody from Somewhere says:
Good. Anybody who remembers ny in the crack era knows that there was no crack smoking sites back in the 80s & 90s. All those addicts got was 3 hots & cot.
Feb. 18, 9:15 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Harm reduction is proven by research to be the most effective way to reduce drug use and the damage it does. Ms. Malliotakis is just another politician that gets her thoughts from her uninformed heart and mind.
Feb. 19, 12:12 am
Monica from Staten Island says:
I think this woman needs soup of chicken for the soul - can we agree on that ?
Feb. 19, 4:54 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
What could go wrong?
Feb. 19, 8:21 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
It’s disgraceful the way that this site allows pathetic trolls to run amok and post vile garbage. The censors are obviously afraid of the chud that starts whining when they delete his posts, then they back off and let him ruin their site. Great way to run a business.
Feb. 19, 12:40 pm
Al from Sunset Park says:
I understand the benefits for these programs, as well as the concerns about them. My main concern is: where will these facilities go? They'll likely be dumped in less affluent neighborhoods. I doubt they'll open one up de blasio's block...
Feb. 19, 1:22 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
It’s disgraceful the way that this site allows pathetic trolls to run amok and post vile garbage against programs like this. The censors are obviously afraid of the chud that starts whining when they delete his posts, then they back off and let him ruin their site. Great way to run a business. Us addicts are reaching out for needed help.
Feb. 19, 6:01 pm
apostle from Nazarath says:
so much for the right to life for anyone. BTW you can easily put them in City Hospitals but that wouldn't cover the working addicts...I am sure she is a right to lifer too...
Feb. 19, 7:31 pm
Question says:
apostle - does the right to life include assisted suicide? It's a false sense of safety, as they can still overdose and the effect of drugs on addicts is different than on those who have never used them before. No doctor can say what the safe dosage is for them. Any dosage is inflicting harm on their bodies, even if it isn't fatal. It's unknown whether making drugs cleaner and slightly safer removes some of the pressure to quit.
Feb. 20, 5:13 am
Natalia from Brighton Beach says:
Soup of chicken for soul! Yes, give this woman!
Feb. 20, 2:26 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
Henry, the troll works at the paper. It's very obvious from the frequency and timing of its comments.
Feb. 21, 7:47 am

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