The cities of New Bedford and Fall River will be the locations of safe injection sites if the advocates of the policy can keep up their momentum.

Banker robber Willie Sutton famously responded "that's where the money is" when asked why he decided to rob banks. A similar answer will come from the advocates of safe injection sites for intravenous narcotics users when they are asked why they have selected certain communities for their experiment.

Unlike Sutton's answer, this reply will be wrong. There are drugs in every community in America. The reason they will target communities like New Bedford and Fall River is that the other communities will stand up for themselves. The advocates won't attempt to open a safe injection site in Wellesley or Marion or Mattapoisett or South Dartmouth.

Ask the advocates why they won't target those communities, and they probably won't give you a straight answer. The answer is because that is where the money is and the people with money have the power to stop them.

So when the advocates go looking for a place to open their experimental safe injection sites, they are going to target places they believe have less power and influence than they do, and that will be communities like New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, and Brockton.

The time is now for local officials and the residents of those communities to act. Don't wait for the advocates to set up shop and then fight them; the game is over at that point. And don't expect the federal government to protect you, either. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, but the Justice Department is ignoring the law and looking the other way in Massachusetts and other states.

As local elections take shape in Massachusetts this year, every person running for local office should be expected to give their opinion on how they feel about opening a safe injection site in their community.

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 and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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