CALIFORNIA—On Monday, August 22, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Bill 57, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener (D-CA), as part of an overdose prevention program. The bill would have allowed for several supervised injection sites throughout the state of California.
Governor Newsom made the following remarks on Tuesday, August 23, regarding his choice to veto the bill.
“The unlimited number of safe injection sites that this bill would authorize, facilities which would authorize well into the later part of this decade, would induce a world of unintended consequences.”
“With two successive Governors vetoing this bill, it’s crystal clear the state isn’t going to step up. San Francisco needs to take matters into its own hands and open up safe consumption sites to save lives,” Newsom tweeted.
Senator Wiener was not alone in introducing the bill. It was originally introduced to the California Legislature for the 2021-2022 regular session on December 7, 2020.
The principal coauthors were Senator Sidney Kamlager (D-CA) and California assembly member, Laura Friedman, Senator Susan Eggman (D-CA), Senator Nancy Skinner (D-CA), and assembly members, Mia Bonta, Wendy Carrillo, Matt Haney, Philip Ting, and Buffy Wicks.
Bill 57 has been amended on March 1, 2021, March 25, 2021, July 5, 2021, January 3, January 18, June 30, August 01, and was enrolled on August 5, 2022.
According to the Legislative Counsel Digest, existing law makes it a crime to possess specified controlled substances, paraphernalia, to use or be under the influence of specified controlled substances.
It is illegal to visit or be in any room where specified controlled substances are being unlawfully used with knowledge that the activity is occurring, or to open or maintain a place for the purpose of giving away or using specified controlled substances.
It is a crime for a person to rent, lease, or make available for use any building or room for the purpose of storing or distributing any controlled substance.
Existing law authorizes forfeiture of property used for specified crimes involving controlled substances and regulates specified medical practitioners under the Medical Practice Act and requires the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California to enforce those provisions.
Until January 1, 2028, the bill would authorize the City and County of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the City of Oakland to approve entities to operate overdose prevention programs for persons that satisfy specified requirements, including, among other things, providing a hygienic space supervised by trained staff where people who use drugs can consume pre-obtained drugs, providing sterile consumption supplies, providing access or referrals to substance use disorder treatment, and that program staff be authorized and trained to provide emergency administration of an opioid antagonist, as defined by existing law.
The cofounder of Mothers Against Drug Deaths relayed to Epoch Times that she was grateful for the Veto.
“I’m ecstatic. I’m so grateful. In San Francisco and in the state, he[Governor Newsom] stopped adding another layer of enabling, which is what this would have been.”