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Federal Judge's Ruling May Boost San Francisco's Plan For Safe Injection Sites

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The city of San Francisco could revisit a plan to open safe injection sites for drug users, after a federal judge's ruling.

A judge in Pennsylvania on Wednesday ruled in favor of a Philadelphia nonprofit seeking to open a site where IV drug users can safely inject, saying the sites would not violate federal law.

Proponents say the facilities prevent overdoses and help get addicts into treatment. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has warned against the idea.

The idea of safe injection sites has support among leaders in the Bay Area, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who has tried to open a safe injection site.

"This ruling is a big deal for public health and addressing the drug crisis that we see every day on our streets. Safe injection sites save lives," Breed said in a statement. "We will be working with the City Attorney to understand what this ruling means for San Francisco."

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U.S. Attorney William McSwain, a Trump appointee who represented the federal government in the case, said the legal process is far from over. "We look forward to continuing to litigate it, and we are confident in our legal position," McSwain said in a statement to CBS Philly.

Philadelphia has one of the highest overdose rates of any major city in the country. More than 1,100 people died from overdoses in Philadelphia last year, with opioids involved in the vast majority of them.

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