Lawmakers move forward with safe drug consumption site plans despite possibility of federal charges

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Despite the threat of federal charges, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said he hopes to open supervised drug consumption facilities in his city by 2020.

Mayor Curtatone joined Quebec’s National Director of Public Health at the Statehouse on Tuesday to discuss the merits of such sites. The city of Quebec now has three drug consumption facilities, which elected officials say has cut down on the number of drug overdose deaths, and alleviated pressure on the city’s emergency rooms.

U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling has threatened federal prosecution for anyone who opens safe consumption sites in Massachusetts, but that hasn’t deterred Mayor Curtatone from moving forward with his plans.

“When I hear that argument, I would hope the U.S. attorney and the governor would lead on this issue to help protect our communities,” Mayor Curtatone said, adding that he views this issue as a public health emergency.

Several state lawmakers have also voiced their support for safe consumption sites and they are pushing for a pilot program in communities across the Commonwealth.

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