#ncga: Free Needle & Drug Paraphernalia giveaway?

Here’s the bill being reported solely as a ”police body cam” piece of legislation:

[…] § 90-113.27. Needle and hypodermic syringe exchange programs authorized; limited
immunity.qw
(a) Any governmental or nongovernmental organization, including a local or district
health department or an organization that promotes scientifically proven ways of mitigating
health risks associated with drug use and other high-risk behaviors, may establish and operate a
needle and hypodermic syringe exchange program. The objectives of the program shall be to do
all of the following:
(1) Reduce the spread of HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and other bloodborne
diseases in this State.
(2) Reduce needle stick injuries to law enforcement officers and other
emergency personnel.
(3) Encourage individuals who inject drugs to enroll in evidence-based
treatment.
(b) Programs established pursuant to this section shall offer all of the following:
(1) Disposal of used needles and hypodermic syringes.
(2) Needles, hypodermic syringes, and other injection supplies at no cost and in
quantities sufficient to ensure that needles, hypodermic syringes, and other
injection supplies are not shared or reused.No public funds may be used to
purchase needles, hypodermic syringes, or other injection supplies.
(3) Reasonable and adequate security of program sites, equipment, and
personnel. Written plans for security shall be provided to the police andHeroin42
sheriff’s offices with jurisdiction in the program location and shall be
updated annually.
(4) Educational materials on all of the following:
a. Overdose prevention.
b. The prevention of HIV, AIDS, and viral hepatitis transmission.
c. Drug abuse prevention.
d. Treatment for mental illness, including treatment referrals.
e. Treatment for substance abuse, including referrals for medication
assisted treatment.
(5) Access to naloxone kits that contain naloxone hydrochloride that is approved
by the federal Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a drug
overdose, or referrals to programs that provide access to naloxone
hydrochloride that is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration
for the treatment of a drug overdose.
(6) For each individual requesting services, personal consultations from a
program employee or volunteer concerning mental health or addiction
treatment as appropriate.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of the Controlled Substances Act in Article 5 ofwtf
Chapter 90 of the General Statutes or any other law, no employee, volunteer, or participant of a
program established pursuant to this section shall be charged with or prosecuted for possession
of any of the following:
(1) Needles, hypodermic syringes, or other injection supplies obtained from or
returned to a program established pursuant to this section.
(2) Residual amounts of a controlled substance contained in a used needle, used
hypodermic syringe, or used injection supplies obtained from or returned to
a program established pursuant to this section.[…] 

This is NOW law, people.   So, on one hand, the government will be saying ‘Don’t do drugs or we’ll arrest you’ and, on the other hand, will be aiding and abetting the intravenous use of the same illegal drugs?

If this is such a worthy, important idea with widespread support, why did it have to be sneaked through in a bill about police body cams?   Here’s the take from the NC Family Policy Council: 

In a somewhat clandestine move in the closing days of the 2016 Legislative Session, the N.C. General Assembly has legalized “needle and hypodermic syringe exchange programs” (SEP) across the state. In essence, these programs provide intravenous drug users (like heroin, cocaine and meth addicts) with free needles, syringes and other injection supplies, as well as immunity from prosecution under state drug paraphernalia laws.omgwtf

After becoming aware of efforts to push the measure, NC Family president John L. Rustin communicated concerns about the proposal with members of the State House and Senate. “The NC Family Policy Council understands and agrees with the objectives of reducing the spread of diseases through shared needles, reducing the incidents of needle stick injuries to emergency personnel, and directing drug addicts into effective drug treatment programs;” Rustin said, “however, we do not believe SEPs are the best answer to these problems, and, in fact, we believe they could be counterproductive.”

Rustin also pointed out that in actuality, “…these programs may facilitate illegal drug use among drug addicted populations. SEPs also send a highly mixed message to children, young adults and other members of society that the use of illegal drugs—such as heroin, cocaine and meth—is illegal and harmful, but if you participate in a SEP, the state (including law enforcement) will not only look the other way but also provide you with the tools you need to continue in your addiction.” […]

Exactly.   And he wasn’t done:

[…] On Tuesday, June 28, the syringe provision was added by the Senate Judiciary 1 Committee to a bill dealing with body cameras worn by law enforcement officers, HB 972–Law Enforcement Recordings/No Public Record. The next day, it was passed by the full Senate and then by the full House, although the House had never discussed the bill in committee.

And don’t be deceived when you hear the program referred to as a “syringe exchange program.” The legislation would be better titled, Free Needle and Drug thom-smokingParaphernalia Give Away Program, because there is no “exchange” required in the law. The language of HB 972 stipulates that organizations may offer “needles, hypodermic syringes, and other injection supplies at no cost and in quantities sufficient to ensure that needles, hypodermic syringes, and other injections supplies are not shared or reused.” This is not a one-to-one needle exchange, nor does it offer any incentive for drug abusers to bring in dirty syringes for safe disposal. As a result, the number of infected needles that law enforcement officers and sanitation workers encounter may, in actuality, increase.

The term “injection supplies” also raises concerns over what this might mean in our communities. In some “needle exchange” programs around the country, this term refers to far more than syringes, including items such as cookers, tourniquets, alcohol wipes, and condoms. Without clear stipulations regarding what constitutes “injection supplies,” there are no limits on the kinds of free drug paraphernalia that can be offered to drug abusers, or for that matter, to drug dealers. However, it is important to note that “public funds” cannot be used to purchase supplies.

Rustin concluded his remarks to state lawmakers saying, “Instead [of authorizing SEPs in North Carolina], we believe the state should focus its attention and resources on addressing the root of the issue by researching and deploying the most effective intervention methods and drug treatment programs to help intravenous drug users break their addiction.”

31 thoughts on “#ncga: Free Needle & Drug Paraphernalia giveaway?

  1. This targets the drug addict population to reduce the dissemination of HIV/AIDS to the general public. We have other programs that target the drug addiction itself.

  2. The Swiss tried this in one of their larger cities (Zurich, if I recall correctly) 20 or 30 years ago, with the exchange site at one of the city’s parks, which became known as ”needle park” after the program became operational. After several years, the program was ended because infection of HIV and other needle borne diseases had gone up, not down, the infestation of the park with druggies had meant the public stayed away, and the crime rate in areas near the park had skyrocketed (even with free needles, the drugs themselves still cost money, and free needles actually encouraged more drug use).

    In the Jim Martin administration, some of the careerists tried to push this needle exchange / free needle idea, and after getting the DOJ on their side, tried to apply for a federal grant to do it. The political appointees at the upper levels of the DHHS stopped it. In those days, the political appointees in the Martin administration were conservative Republicans and reacted as one would expect conservatives to react. Today, the McCrory administration’s appointees are often Democrats in similar positions, and if they are Republicans at all, they are usually not conservative policy-savvy Republicans. That is the difference. I strongly suspect that liberals within state government, probably DHHS, are the instigators of this liberal legislation, and the lax appointment policies of the present governor are the reason they are in a position to do this, whether the idea originated with careerists or political appointees, the political appointees were the ones ultimately to either push it or stop it.

    Bad political appointees make for bad policy..

      1. I happened to be in Switzerland shortly after ”Needle Park” was shut down and read several accounts of it while I was there. It was not something I had to look up. Even the tourist guidebooks advised avoiding the area around Needle Park, which had not been a problematic area before the needle exchange program was set up there.

        I also trust Swiss evaluation of how such programs work more than the Democrat hacks in our government that you cite. Given the many lies out of both the Obama administration and the Clinton administration on many subjects (Gruber anyone? Iran, anyone? etc.), the higher levels of the US government are just not to be trusted.

        1. So you have no proof to the contrary that these programs are working here in the U.S.
          I didn’t expect you would.

          1. Why would anyone believe anything that comes out of ANY official of the Obama administration given their awful record on truthfulness and long record on saying anything to advance their political agenda?

          2. I see. I provide credible documentation from studies done even before President Obama took office and you provide nothing but old hearsay. That sure fits the Conservative model.

          3. What I did was point out you are using the Gruberites of the Obama regime as your ”experts”, which is most of what shows up in your links, and they simply have no credibility after all the many lies the Obama regime has put out there to advance their agenda.

          4. Oh, there were a couple from the Clinton administration, too, but that bunch was not known for its integrity either. ”It depends on what ‘is’ is . . .”

    1. Could not agree more. The way it was passed trough the house is disturbing. I hope more of this comes to light. Thank you for your efforts Haymaker.

      1. Any thinking lawmaker should always vote against these last minute cramdowns. They pull the wool over legislators eyes in some way or other. Tell Tim Moore and David Lewis to get stuffed with their corrupt shananigans.

    2. No public debate? That sure was not an issue when Hate Bill 2 surfaxced. Proposed, passed House, passed Senate, and signed all in one day.
      This is our GOP government don’t forget.

      1. How was that any surprise? The session was called for the sole purpose of adopting that bill to stop Charlotte’s obscene attempt to require allowing grown men into restrooms and shower rooms with women and little girls. Those who support the Charlotte measure are as perverd as those people they were trying to give access to those restrooms and shower rooms.

          1. You really did not need a public debate. The VAST majority of people of NC agree with it so there is no real issue. Our mothers, wives, and daughters are safer and less likely to be subject to these types of situations…at least in government operated buildings.

            http://www.postregister.com/articles/news-daily-email-todays-headlines/2016/07/12/transgender-woman-arrested-voyeurism-target

            Now my family will still be safe as we no longer go to Target due to their hate of women.

          2. Your link, just as your logic does NOT work. You, your wife, your daughters, and your mother are no safer with Hate Bill 2 then you were otherwise.

          3. HB does NOT stand for ”Hate Bill”, but I’d bet JBP stands for ”Just Bad Policy”.

          4. It takes a minute, it is now linked by Drudge so the server is probably getting a bit backed up. Take a bit of your ADD tendency down and be patient for it to load.

          5. and to address the “logic” element of your reply. Yes they are safer at least in two places:
            1. My daughter’s middle school cannot allow a boy in the showers because he “feels” like a girl.
            2. We no longer go to Target and other select retailers now that they admit that dudes are free to go in the female restrooms and changing rooms.

  3. I supported the original bill all the way through third reading, although somewhat cautiously. However, when it came back from the Senate with this needle provision added, I had to vote no. So much for the claim that the Senate is more conservative.

  4. What should be done is take names, fingerprints, addresses etc. and track the druggies for future crimes. If we have dossiers on these people who are more likely to commit crimes it would be easier for the police. You get your government perks…you need to be on a list for tracking.

    1. In the House, it was in one of the articles that the prime mover was newly appointed RINO legislator Greg Murphy, who was also prime mover in support of Michelle Obama’s food deserts boondoggle, and who told his local executive committee when he was appointed that the main reason he wanted to go to Raleigh was to support the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

      I have not heard, but would like to, who was the prime mover in the Senate.

      I also have not heard who was the prime mover from the administration, probably from DHHS. Again, inquiring minds want to know. I would imagine that someone from DHHS took it to first the Senate and then to Murphy.

    2. If you go back and read the articles I linked to, in both posts, you will see that senators Stan Bingham and Tommy Tucker are credited as the main advocates for the needle exchange in the senate. Rep. Murphy, of course, is credited as the main advocate in the House.

      1. Thank you for pointing that out Brant.

        It is not surprising that this is a pair of liberal Obama Republicans in the Senate as well. Tommy Tucker is a Dee Stewart creation, as Stewart used a smear campaign of lies to win him his first primary for him over a very staunch conservative former Senator from that district. Tommy Tucker had a primary challenge this past election. Conservatives need to redouble their efforts to get rid of him next primary. Ditto Bingham.

        It would also be interesting to know who in McCrory’s DHHS was pushing this. It may even have been his new non-political Secretary of that department. Jim Martin’s DHHS opposed and halted a similar effort during his administration.

      2. Thank you but what I was really wondering was who wrote the bill, they may attach their names to it but outsource the structuring of the law to their special interest contacts.

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