Newsbrief: Santa Cruz to Place Needle Disposal Boxes in Public Restrooms 5/24/02

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Responding to a series of incidents where city employees were stuck by discarded syringes, the Santa Cruz City Council voted unanimously on May 14 to install needle disposal boxes in a dozen public restrooms in that California coast community. Santa Cruz joins a tiny group of locales that offer the service, including the state of Rhode Island, several Nevada casinos and the airports in Minneapolis, San Francisco, and San Jose.

The padlocked steel boxes will be located at popular sites such as the beach and wharf areas. Workers from the Santa Cruz Needle Exchange program will pick up the discarded syringes and deliver them to a county facility to be destroyed.

"This means people understand it's a public health issue and nothing more," Needle Exchange executive director Heather Edney-Meschery told the Associated Press. "It's not about morality. It's not about whether or not people should or should not use drugs."

While some beach businessmen expressed concern about "making the city comfortable for drug addicts," the needle disposal boxes can also be used by diabetics who inject insulin, as well as other medicines and vitamins that are injected.

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Issue #238, 5/24/02 Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform Joins with Members of Congress at US Capitol to Call for Repeal of HEA Drug Provision | British MPs Call for Massive Drug Policy Reform, But Reject Legalization -- for Now | Incoming Dutch Government Threatens Coffee Shops | Budget Crunch: Drug War Fuels Mississippi Prison Binge, No Money Left for Education | High School Drug Courts Spreading in West Virginia | Newsbrief: Marijuana Exile Steve Kubby Claims Refugee Status in Canada | Newsbrief: British Cannabis Cafe Owner Freed | Newsbrief: North Carolina Drug Courts Face Ax Because of Budget Woes | Newsbrief: New York City Cops in Paraphernalia Sweep, Big Hoopla, Misdemeanor Arrests | Newsbrief: Seattle Marijuana Initiative Signature-Gathering Now Underway | Newsbrief: Santa Cruz to Place Needle Disposal Boxes in Public Restrooms | Errata: Different Kinds of Mushrooms | The Reformer's Calendar
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