Gavin Newsom, the Democratic Governor of California, has made use of his veto powers to chop down a bill that would have allowed the creation of alleged sage drug injection sites inside a selection of cities across the state of California.
The bill in question, SB57, would have given the power ot the local governments in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to “approve entities within their jurisdictions to establish and operate overdose prevention programs” that meet certain requirements.
These types of programs have been utilized by various more progressive groups who think that the creation of such areas would see a massive drop in the deaths by drug overdoses.
One senior director at the National Harm Reduction Coalition, Laura Guzman, stated to the San Francisco Chronicle that the people would be “enraged” if the bill was not signed into law by the governor. She viewed a veto as an outright “policy failure” to save endangered lives.
The Democrat who first brought the bill to the floor, State Senator Scott Wiener, stated that just before the veto that Newsom carrying out a veto against it would create a “negative, toxic message to the rest of the country about where progressive California is on drug use and addiction and overdoses and the war on drugs.”
Nonetheless, Newsom went right ahead and did just that.
As part of a letter sent out to the Senate members, He claimed that he was “returning Senate Bill 57 without my signature.”
Governor Newsom vetoes SB 57 (Wiener) on allowing safe consumption sites pic.twitter.com/OYt5zDt8nM
— Louis Mirante (@louismirante) August 22, 2022
“I have long supported the cutting edge of harm reduction strategies. However, I am acutely concerned about the operations of safe injection sites without strong, engaged local leadership and well-documented, vetted, and thoughtful operational and sustainability plans,” stated the governor.
He claimed that the unlimited number of sites that would be allowed by the bill “could induce a world of unintended consequences.” He went on to add that he is calling on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to call in both county and city authorities to talk about the most efficient ways to make use of these overdose prevention programs. When the authorities return with far more guidelines to the legislature “for a truly limited pilot program,” Newsom claimed that he “remain[s] open to this discussion.”
“We are grateful Governor Newsom vetoed SB 57. While we endorse the goal of preventing overdose deaths, lawmakers must remember, ‘First, do no harm.’” stated Jonathan Keller, California Family Council President. “State-sanctioned drug dens would lead to more death and devastation. We should love our neighbors, not surrender them to addiction. As Christians, we believe there is always hope for anyone to change.”