Help Us Stop Illicit Needle Exchange Bill in Ohio Senate
Illicit Needle Exchange Bill Gets Through the Ohio House:
As Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville) pointed out in the linked article, “This bill will create a culture in this state that this type of drug use is socially acceptable.” The key factor in this bill is a ground breaking effort to provide users of Illicit Needle Exchanges with two newly expanded protections. The bill’s sponsors discussed lowering the standard required for Health Departments to develop an Illicit Needle Exchange due to a perceived cause/effect relationship with the spread of Hepatitis and HIV; however, they failed to justify why illegal drug users who participate in the programs should be immune from prosecution for Drug Paraphernalia if they have registered with the program. Sponsors also fail to explain why residents living near the Illicit Needle Exchanges should suffer with Drug Blighted Zones. These Drug Blighted Zones will center on the Illicit Needle Exchange and radiate out for 1,000 feet, per Section 3707.37 (G) (2). That area will become a narcotics haven. Police will not be permitted to charge illegal drug users for possession of the illegal tools of the trade; instead, the area will become a magnet for illegal drug users and those who SELL to them. With the latest surge in the higher quality, more addictive Heroin, petty crime has spiked. Residents within the 1,000 foot blight zone around the Illicit Needle Exchanges and bordering neighborhoods will experience the brunt of these concentrated crime spikes, further deteriorating an area already predisposed to illicit drug activity.
Providing users of Illicit Needle Exchanges with “Get out of Jail Free Cards” to enable their addiction is wrong and to support Illicit Needle Exchanges to further blight communities is counter-productive. This bill should be stopped in the Senate. Please contact your Senator today and please let us know their response (email or call us when you hear back from your Senator).