HomeTop StoriesMichigan lawmakers are considering bills to provide legal protections for harm reduction...

Michigan lawmakers are considering bills to provide legal protections for harm reduction strategies

Michigan lawmakers are considering bills to provide legal protections for harm reduction strategies


Michigan lawmakers are considering bills to provide legal protections for harm reduction strategies

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(CBS DETROIT) – Lawmakers are considering two bills that would not stop people from using illegal drugs but aim to improve harm reduction tactics in Michigan.

The series of bills introduced by state Rep. Carrie Rheingans would provide legal protections for organizations that provide clean syringes and decriminalize drug test strips. The goal of both bills is to reduce the danger of overdose and reduce the danger to the community as a whole – known as harm reduction tactics.

“We also want people to provide these services without fear of being booked, arrested and charged for possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia,” says Dr. Kanzoni Asabigi, the vice president of the Detroit Recovery Project.

Asabigi says that through his work in drug recovery, he has noticed that even workers who spend their time helping drug users worry about their own legal consequences.

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“We had people who were afraid of being arrested,” he said. “So if it’s explicit that if you provide this service you’re not breaking the law, I think that’s very, very helpful.”

State Rep. Bryan Posthumus said in a statement that he opposes these bills.

“This bill is incredibly tone-deaf,” Posthumus wrote. “The government should not spend taxpayer money to make illegal drugs easier to use.”

Rheingans explained her views on sponsoring these bills.

“Once a person becomes addicted to a certain substance, that substance is necessary for their life, just as food and water are necessary. So simply telling people to stop looking for something that is necessary for their daily lives is inhumane and not how science works,” she said.

Rheingans said the hope with this legislation is to lower the risk.

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