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.