Bloomberg Law
Jan. 12, 2021, 4:51 PM

Philadelphia ‘Safe Injection’ Site Barred by Federal Drug Law

Mary Anne Pazanowski
Mary Anne Pazanowski
Legal Reporter

A nonprofit that favors a public health response to drug addiction is prohibited from operating a “safe injection” site in Philadelphia manned by people trained to spot and treat overdoses because it’s a federal crime to open a property for drug use by others, the Third Circuit said Tuesday.

“Safehouse’s benevolent motive"—to reduce drug overdose deaths and prevent diseases caused by needle-sharing—"makes no difference,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit said. It’s barred by a federal law designed to shut down crack houses, which is valid under Congress’s power to ban interstate commerce in drugs, the court ...

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