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  • Ithaca mayor wants a haven for heroin addicts

    USA Today - 03/25/2016

    Sites in the United States could violate the federal Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits possession of drugs such as heroin or cocaine or operating a place where people use them. But Congress could change the law or the U.S. Justice Departmentcould make exceptions for the sites, said Leo Beletsky, a law and health sciences professor at Northeastern University.

    Most state laws mirror the federal act and would also need to be amended to allow injection sites to operate legally, he said. Though if states begin legalizing them, the federal government could choose not to prosecute people who run and use them — just as the Justice Department has decided not to enforce federal laws for possessing, processing or selling marijuana in states that have legalized it.

    “Do you try to solve these [legal] problems first? Or do you proceed with what you know is needed, the innovation that is needed in, really, a time of national crisis?” Beletsky said.

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