Syringes Now Legal in Mass.

By Nagognog2 · Jul 15, 2006 · ·
  1. Nagognog2
    Legislative override of Romney veto makes needle sales legal
    July 14, 2006

    BOSTON --Over-the-counter sales of hypodermic needles will be allowed in Massachusetts after the Legislature on Thursday approved an override of Gov. Mitt Romney's veto of the measure.

    Supporters of the bill say it will save lives by slowing the spread of AIDS and hepatitis C through the reuse of dirty needles.

    House lawmakers approved the bill by a 115-37 margin last year, while the Senate passed it on a 26-8 vote earlier this year.

    But the Republican governor vetoed the bill, saying it was well-intentioned but would encourage increased heroin use. The override by the majority-Democratic legislators had been expected.

    Massachusetts becomes the 48th state to allow the sale and possession of needles without a prescription, according to the AIDS Action Committee.

    "The Legislature's override of the governor's veto will save lives, reduce new infections and save the Commonwealth millions of dollars in health care costs over the next several years," said Rebecca Haag, executive director of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.

    Share This Article


  1. Sitbcknchill
    Am I reading this right, 48 states now sell needles without a prescription? Which two do not?
  2. Forthesevenlakes
    SWIM found this site which breaks down the needle laws as of June 2005 in the United States:

    Needle Laws

    However, after looking at another site detailing needle laws, it appears that New Jersey and Delaware are the only ones which do not permit needle sales.

    Hopefully these measures can help save some lives, SWIM does not think that providing clean needles is tantamount to encouraging heroin use by any means. What surprises SWIM is that New Jersey always struck him as a somewhat liberal place, so would not have guessed that NJ was one of the two.
  3. Sitbcknchill
    Damn this is all news to me....thanks for the heads up forthesevenlakes
  4. old hippie 56
    Here in swim part of Texas, some of the family owned drugstores has a sign up stating if you don't buy insulin here, they won't sell you needles.
  5. Forthesevenlakes
    swim wonders if some action is needed against this. sure, it is their perogative not to want to serve certain people, but how do the pharmacists know that a buyer didnt get their insulin elsewhere? to deny someone service based on how the pharmacist feels about them is discriminatory. swim has noticed this disturbing trend, but until now thought that it was restricted to the unnerving and unethical practice of pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control or 'morning after' pills.

    however, swim is heartened by the fact that there are 48 states who will provide needles without a prescription. he would have guessed the number would have been much lower, but perhaps these numbers show that with some effort, the public's perception of drug use could be changed from strictly a morally wrong, criminal activity to something else entirely. the upswing in states allowing medical marijuana (despite the feds' efforts to stop this) would seem to go along with this idea of a change in the cultural zeitgiest.
  6. Nagognog2
    In New England, there was an uproar that landed in the courts when certain pharmacies refused to sell the so-called Morning-After pill - RU486 - to prevent pregnancy. They howled "Abortion is Murder!" The courts made 'em sell them. Biggest hold-out was the WalMart chain. I guess they need more slave-laborers.

    So if it's a state law in Texas - notify the state government regards any stores in violation. You might prevent someone from getting Hep C - like a friend of mine did.
  7. Forthesevenlakes
    Where SWIM used to live, the Target store held out long enough. So swim could no longer justify shopping at Target on the grounds that "its not wal-mart". But good to know that there is something that can be done if pharmacies are in non-compliance...somehow it makes the world seem like slightly more empowering place.
  8. adzket
    Originally Posted by Nagognog2
    /But the Republican governor vetoed the bill, saying it was well-intentioned but would encourage increased heroin use.

    this is silly like just because they are available more people are going to take h or any other injectible. in the uk you don’t need a prescription to buy needles. you never have as far as i know.

    however one bank holiday weekend swim was in london visiting friends and had been out clubbing having been an on off h user for a number of yrs (currently off on 100ml of meth a day) they decided they would get some to help with the come down, from the night and most of the days partying.

    they went to where they new there was a free needle exchange in soho but this was shut due to the bank holiday. they then went to a well-known high street pharmacy to buy some. the pharmacist asked what sort of diabetes they had as to why they wanted insulin needles.

    when swim replied they where not for insulin (and leaving it at that) the pharmacist refused to sell them, swim asked what he should do then seeing as the needle exchange was shut the pharmacist said this was not his problem and to get out of the shop before they called the police, they had not committed any crime at this point (and the only crime they would of commited was to later buy drugs).

    swim then thought hold on i know the hospital they will help (although knowing it would take time as it was not an emergency) so preceded to the nearest one explained the fact they where away from home had no medication with them, had been to the needle exchange and this was shut and had been made to feel like a criminal (granny mugging junky, even though swim always dresses well and is well educated and middle class) by the high street pharmacist.

    they again said there was nothing they could do as all needles had to be accounted for. this was getting very frustrating for swim the fact that all these health care professionals where not helping him, turning there backs and basically saying well it's not our problem go and use a dirty one. swim could not believe they would leave him open to the risk of catching hiv, hep c or any other no of diseases or not use, as he did not have to.

    swim was very strung out and an addict on methadone (which was left at home) so as far as he was concerned he had to use to sort him self-out to even try to get home 200 miles away. he ended up buying one off a homeless person (they only had a few left to last them the weekend so could only give him one.) he new from when he lived in soho,(he used to give him money & buy him breackfast and stuff.) this was still in its sealed wrapper so he new he was safe and clean, he did how ever share this with his long term partner as they too where in a bad way.

    i can't believe that governments in supposed civilised countries still allow people that are at risk to put them self’s in more harm. having something there does not increase the likelihood of people doing it as there are other ways of administering it, it does however empower them to look after them self’s better and reduce not just the risk and harm to them self’s but also to other people around them.

    edited due to frankenchrist wanting paragraphs, which is fine but dont see y waste a post to tell me.
  9. FrankenChrist
    Could you cut that up in paragraphs please? Thanks.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!