Canada: Starbucks Needle Disposal Prompts Investigation 9/10/99

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Jane Tseng, [email protected]

Toronto police say they will investigate a downtown Starbucks coffee house because of a syringe disposal installed in its unisex bathroom. Starbucks employees installed the bin after a worker found discarded needles in the wastebasket in the bathroom. Police say they are concerned that Starbucks is condoning intravenous drug use on their premises.

"It could affect their service license because they're supposed to take as much precaution as they can to avoid criminal activity on their premises," warned Sargent Kevin Reed.

But the Toronto Public Health Department spoke up in support of the Starbucks. "It can be seen as a harm reduction strategy," said the city's Injection Drug Program manager Shaun Hopkins. The health department has installed similar containers in park and recreation buildings around the city.

Starbucks' public relations firm says the bin is intended to protect staff from the infectious diseases that can be transmitted if a worker is pricked with a dirty syringe.

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Issue #107, 9/10/99 First National Student Conference on Drug Policy and Justice, November 5-6, Washington, DC | New Mexico Poll: 60% Agree Drug War is Failing, Disagree on Solutions | Australia: UN Drug Official Slams Safe Injecting Room | Canada: Starbucks Needle Disposal Prompts Investigation | Insurance Company Reimburses Patient for Seized Marijuana | SAMHSA Study Calls for More Workplace Drug Treatment, but Also Supports More Drug Testing | Quote of the Week | Cato Institute Briefing Paper Warns of "Culture of Paramilitarism" in Law Enforcement | Editorial: Standing Up 101
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