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State Lawmakers Debate Safe Injection Site Proposals

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts state lawmakers met virtually to talk about proposals for safe-injection sites on Monday.

Supporters say the sites could provide education about the risk of drug use and in turn lead people to get treatment. Opponents of the bills say the money for these sites could instead be used for other things like treatment centers.

One proposal calls for a 10-year pilot program to create two supervised sites where illegal drugs could be consumed. Other bills would decriminalize possession in hopes of changing the way police and the courts handle drug offenses.

"The key purpose of this bill is to replace the all-too-common criminal legal response to substance use issues with a truly public health based response," said Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge).

The sites could also have staff trained to respond to overdoses, sterile injection supplies and the ability to collect and dispose of used needles and syringes.

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