Drug Policy Forum of Massachusetts


 
Massachusetts State Legislation

Syringe Access

Bill Number: H.1087

Sponsors:

Petition of Louis L. Kafka and William C. Galvin.

Official Summary:

Relative to the prescription of needles and syringes.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

Doctor's who prescribe syringes to individuals injecting illegal substances will not be held liable because disease prevention is an acceptable medical use.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 H Referred to the committee on Health Care
  • 01/01/03 S concurred
  • Public Hearing date Jan 28, 2004 10am in Room A-2
  • 03/15/04 H Accompanied a new draft, see H4578 -HJ 1439

Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/house/ht01087.htm

Bill Number: H.3329

Sponsors:

Petition by Mr. Walsh, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Martin J. Walsh, Jarrett T. Barrios, Dianne Wilkerson and Kevin G. Honan.

Official Summary:

Relative to the Department of Public Health be directed to promulgate rules and regulations for the sale of hypodermic syringes and needles and other related instruments.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

DPFMA supports this bill which would allow for pharmacy sale of syringes to anyone over the age of 18. Sales without a prescription must include educational information on blood-born diseases and substance abuse. Companion Bill to S.658.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 H Referred to the committee on Health Care -HJ 100A
  • 01/01/03 S Senate concurred
  • Public Hearing date Jan 28, 2004 10am in Room A-2
  • No New Listing on 3/26/04

Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/house/ht03329.htm

Bill Number: S.566

Sponsors:

Petition by Mark C. Montigny, Richard T. Moore, Susan C. Fargo, J. James Marzilli, Jr. and other members of the General Court.

Official Summary:

Relative to legislation to allow the exchange of syringes through mobile exchange programs.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

DPFMA supports this bill which would legalize the possession of syringes distributed or possessed as part of a sanctioned needle exchange program.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 S Referred to the committee on Health Care
  • 01/01/03 H concurred
  • Public Hearing date Jan 28, 2004 10am in Room A-2
  • 03/15/04 H Accompanied a new draft, see H4578 -HJ 1439

Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/st00566.htm

Bill Number: S.658

Sponsors:

Petition by Robert A. O'Leary, Richard T. Moore, Susan C. Fargo and Dianne Wilkerson.

Official Summary:

Relative to the sale of hypodermic needles.

DPFMA Position/Summary:

DPFMA supports this bill which would allow for pharmacy sale of syringes to anyone over the age of 18. Sales without a prescription must include educational information on blood-born diseases and substance abuse. Companion Bill to H.3329.

Action on Bill:

  • 01/01/03 S Referred to the committee on Health Care
  • 01/01/03 H House concurred
  • Public Hearing date Jan 28, 2004 10am in Room A-2
  • 03/15/04 H Accompanied a new draft, see H4578 -HJ 1439

Complete Bill Language & Info: www.state.ma.us/legis/bills/st00658.htm

 
Fact
In 2002, the Bush administration spent more than $18.822 billion on the "War on Drugs."

Fact
The United States has locked up nearly a half a million people for non-violent drug offenses. We now have the largest prison population in the world.

Fact
In 2000, Massachusetts had the highest reported rate of illegal drug use in the nation. In 2001, there were over 14,000 adult drug arrests in Massachusetts, of which nearly 75% were for possession.

Fact
In 1999, minorities, who use & sell drugs at similar or lower rates than whites and who represent less than 20% of the state population, made up 54% of all state drug convictions, 80% of all mandatory drug convictions, and in Suffolk County, 89% of all school-zone convictions (imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of two years).

Fact
Research shows that decriminalizing marijuana in Massachusetts would save the state at least $24.3 million in law enforcement resources and would not lead to an increase in marijuana use.

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