A bill that would allow supervised use of illicit narcotics at California health facilities passed major legislative hurdles this week and is headed for a vote in the full state Assembly.
It’s “the first ever state bill on supervised consumption services (SCS) to win legislative votes in the U.S.,” according to the Drug Policy Alliance, which is supporting AB 186 by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman of Stockton. The proposal, which focuses on injected drugs but would allow any drug use to be supervised by legitimate medical care agencies, is supported by a number of L.A.-based groups, including AIDS Project Los Angeles Health, Homeless Healthcare LA and the Los Angeles Overdose Task Force.
While government-blessed supervision of drug use sounds surreal, backers say the practice saves lives by ensuring clean needles are used and overdoses are treated immediately. Participants could also receive drug counseling and other services.