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Needle Exchange Heads To The Governor

Credit Todd Huffman via Flickr

There’s just one hurdle left for a Miami-Dade needle exchange program.  The long-awaited pilot passed the House Wednesday.

Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Sunrise) gained passage for a Miami-Dade needle exchange Wednesday.  South Florida lawmakers have spent years pushing for it.  Edwards believes the measure will reduce addiction, and she quotes a familiar line.

“It’s an old Neil Young song,” Edwards says.  “I’ve seen the needle and the damage done, a little part of it in every one. But members not every junkie has to be a setting sun.”

“With the right treatment advocacy outreach and effort we can rewrite that song.”

Some GOP lawmakers critical of the proposal worry it won’t reduce addiction.  But Rep. Julio Gonzalez (R-Venice) says that’s not the point.

“Now I’m not voting up on this bill because I believe that it will somehow fix the problem of drug addiction,” Gonzalez says.  “I agree—it probably will not.”

“I’m voting up on this bill because the problem we’re trying to address is the spread of blood borne infectious diseases,” he goes on.  “That’s the problem we’re trying to address.

The measure already passed the senate.  Now it’s on its way to the governor’s desk. 

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