California Assembly Passes Bill That Would Expand State’s Needle Exchange Program to Cover Some Drug Paraphernalia
The California Assembly yesterday passed a bill (SB 1734) that would allow public agencies to distribute certain drug-related paraphernalia that would help sterilize needles and syringes, the Associated Press reports. Public agencies are currently authorized to distribute sterile needles as part of the state's needle-exchange program. The bill, which has already been passed by the state Senate, would clarify the law to state that agencies may also provide "other materials necessary to ensure the needle stays clean," including cookers, sterile cotton and water. The measure now goes back to the state Senate, which will vote on amendments made to the measure in the Assembly. The sponsor of the bill, state Sen. John Vasconcellos (D), has also sponsored a separate measure (SB 1785) that would allow adults to purchase up to 30 hypodermic needles or syringes at licensed pharmacies without a prescription. That bill is still awaiting a vote in the Assembly (Associated Press, 8/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.