Massachusetts May Create Safe Drug Injection Sites [OPINION]
The Massachusetts legislature has a bill to create special locations for the use of intravenous drugs by addicts. The locations would be a "safe space."
Some people think the answer to the problem of drug overdoses is to make them medically impossible. Their answer is amazingly simple: create locations for people to show up and use drugs like heroin and fentanyl in the presence of doctors and nurses. If the user of the drugs starts to overdose, the medical staff will save them.
There are just a few problems I can think of off the top of my head with this solution.
The only way this works is if the local, state, and federal police are forbidden to go into the medical facility. The police have to be prevented from going anywhere near the facility if it is going to be effective at drawing in the criminal users of narcotics. So the facility and the neighborhood around it must become a law enforcement-free zone.
A neighborhood will quickly deteriorate if it hosts one of these sites. It will become a haven for desperate drug addicts and the dope peddlers who profit from their misery. Why not hang out inside the law enforcement-free zone and sell drugs? The staff at the facility would be breaking their oath to their mission if they objected to the sale of drugs on their grounds and notified the police.
Who is going to pay for the facility and the medical staff? The safe injection site will have to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. The cost of rent, insurance, electricity, and labor will be enormous at each site. Are the taxpayers of Massachusetts going to fund these law enforcement-free zones?
Where are these law enforcement-free zones actually going to be located? Will cities like New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, and Brockton be forced to accept these facilities? What towns on Cape Cod will host these zones? These are all important questions that must be answered early by the proponents of this solution.
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.