Thursday, August 25, 2005

Atlantic City Needle Exchange Denied

An attempt to launch a needle-exchange in Atlantic City has been blocked by the state courts, the Washington Times reported Aug. 16.

A state appeals court ruled that municipalities and nonprofit groups are all governed by a state law banning the possession and distribution of drug paraphernalia, including hypodermic needles. That law effectively bars the city from establishing a needle exchange program.

"Atlantic City is not exempt from the Code provisions ... simply because they adopted a needle exchange for beneficent reasons," the court said.

Only the state legislature has the power to change the law, the court said, rendering moot arguments that needle exchanges prevent the spread of AIDS and help steer addicts into treatment.


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