Greater New Bedford Ballot Question on Injection Sites [OPINION]
The movement to open "safe injection sites" for intravenous drug users in Massachusetts is continuing to gain momentum. How do you feel about this idea?
A safe injection site is a place for people to go and use narcotics under the supervision of medical staff. The idea is that people will be saved from fatal overdoses because the medical staff on hand will administer life-saving treatment. People who use drugs alone or with other drug addicts do die of overdoses because of a lack of sober supervision.
Taken alone, this is a strong argument in favor of safe injection sites. However, this isn't the only factor to consider.
Safe injection sites for illegal narcotics are against federal law. Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling has repeatedly stated his opposition to the sites and promised to use his resources to enforce federal laws on the matter.
Cities like New Bedford are likely candidates for safe injection sites rather than towns like Wellesley. Does the city want to host a place that is free of law enforcement and a haven for people who use illegal narcotics?
The city of New Bedford and the towns around the city need to express their opinion on the matter with a ballot question. Only through a local ballot question will the truth be known to the elected officials who govern our area.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.