Despite federal pushback, Somerville mayor moves forward with safe consumption sites

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The mayor of Somerville is moving forward with a plan to open safe consumption sites.

Mayor Joseph Curtatone wants to open supervised consumption sites, where people will be monitored by health professionals while they use drugs. He says the motivation behind this proposal is saving lives.

Safe consumption sites which have been operating in Canada for a few years now have reduced overdose deaths and cut down on the spread of diseases.

Mayor Curtatone is hoping to open a safe consumption facility in Somerville despite opposition from the federal government.

Members of the state legislature also oppose the idea of safe consumption sites and plan to consider changing state law so that doctors and nurses could be prosecuted for supervising illegal drug use.

Many health professionals stand behind the mayor’s plan because people are using drugs in public restrooms, public parks, and along the streets, causing more of a risk to personal and public safety.

Governor Charlie Baker, who has stayed quiet on this topic, did say that he hopes people will seek treatment before implementing a plan that goes against federal law.

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