(Richvale, CA) — Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) released the following statement after sending a letter to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control calling for a halt to needle distribution programs in light of damage done to communities. The prohibition on funding needle programs was removed in a 2016 omnibus spending bill that LaMalfa opposed.
LaMalfa said: “Needle exchange programs were created with the intention of helping drug users in hard-to-reach places recover from addiction while limiting diseases spread through sharing needles. In reality, these programs have quickly become a danger to our communities. The needle distribution program in Chico serves as a good example of a poorly run program that hands out needles to drug users with zero supervision or concern for how or where they plan to use them. This has led to more infected needles in our neighborhoods with no real sign of it stopping anytime soon. Our parks, shopping centers, and even parking lots are being littered with potentially dangerous biohazards. I, personally, have never been a fan of any of these programs as I believe they send a wrong and dangerous message. At any rate, we cannot risk the safety of law-abiding people by carelessly passing out free needles to those who abuse drugs. I’ve asked the Centers for Disease Control to cease any funding for needle exchange programs and completely re-evaluate their approach.”
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