Hurray for Ahnold!


Category : Medical Rants

Schwarzenegger OKs increased needle sales

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved a bill Monday that could allow California pharmacies to sell hypodermic syringes without a prescription, signing clean-needle legislation that former Gov. Gray Davis twice vetoed.

Schwarzenegger cited a growing body of research that has shown access to sterile needles reduces the spread of viruses like HIV in a one-page letter explaining his signature. The new law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, requires local governments to approve the idea before sales begin.

Clinical evidence shows that this legislation works. While we regret that we have IV drug abusers, we should do our best to decrease their risk of infectious disease. The lack of sterile needles does not stop their IV injections. That lack does lead to using infected needles.

The main objection that I see to this policy is a moral one. But I cannot reconcile a policy which leaves users at risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other infections. The benefits of sterile needles are great, the risks are minimal.

Hurray for Arnold!

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Comments (4)

Just out of curiosity, what is your moral objection?

Now on to the risks of “dirty cotton”. Some people are hard to save from themselves, even with steps like this.

I too would like to hear that moral argument. From the population health perspective, needle exchange is a powerful intervention against the HIV and HCV epidemics, whose threats go beyond just IV drug users. This to me is a sound moral argument.
Thanks, DB and Arnold, for supporting harm reduction.

The “moral argument” goes like this: The use of illegal drugs is bad, and government actions such as this serve to legitimize the use of illegal drugs.

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