Philadelphia could become the first city in the United States to host a safe injection site for drug users. This is essential because drugs are supposed to be illegal but you have a place drug users to do them. You are just giving drug addicts a safer way to shoot up. You might as well make drugs legal.
The counter argument would be that since the rate of drug abuse is so high it’s a positive. It’s a positive because it keeps it away from the public. As the opioid overdose death toll shifts from rural America to major urban centers, Philadelphia has become the epicenter. According to (usatoday.com) The rate of overdose deaths here are 65 per 100,000 residents. Philadelphia was the highest of any major city in the nation and over three times the national average in 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And its heroin and illicit fentanyl supply is the cheapest, most plentiful and deadliest in the United States, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
This solves a problem because it limits the influence on other people and children. They won’t be able see addicts high because they are indoors now. This might influence neighborhood drug dealers though. This might influence neighborhood drug dealers because they know addicts would be more eager to get high. They would be more eager to get high because they have a place to do it now. But in October, U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh denied a petition, filed by the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, arguing that safe injection or overdose prevention sites violate a 2003 provision in the federal Controlled Substances Act known as the “crack house” statute, which bans the operation of a facility for the purpose of using illegal drugs.
I believe this is a bad idea. But I believe this is a positive idea too. Drugs are supposed to be illegal. But the rate deaths because of drug overdoses makes this a positive idea. The district judge stated the purpose of the proposed site was not to facilitate drug use, but to save lives and reduce drug consumption by helping more people get into treatment. U.S. Attorney William McSwain, who filed the lawsuit against Safehouse in February, vowed to appeal the final decision and use all available enforcement measures including asset seizures and prison sentences of up to 25 years to stop the facility from opening.
Do you think Philadelphia should open up the safe houses? Would this influence other cities to do the same? Would this make punishments getting caught with drugs more harsh? Do you think there will be a positive out of this? Please let me know what you think.