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California: Davis Vetoes Bill Allowing Pharmacies to Sell Hypodermic Needles

October 1, 2002

California Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a bill on Monday that would have allowed pharmacies to sell hypodermic needles to adults without a doctor's prescription. Bill supporters said the measure was intended to reduce the number of cases of HIV and other diseases caused by needle sharing among drug addicts. They said needle sharing is linked to 19 percent of all AIDS and half of all hepatitis C cases. Opponents said the measure would encourage drug use. Davis said he could not sign the measure because it did not require a one-on-one needle exchange, which has been the distribution process of authorized programs throughout the state. "This bill," Gray said, "could potentially increase the amount of contaminated needles and syringes in parks, beaches and other public areas."

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Adapted from:
Associated Press

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
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10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More HIV Prevention Policy News on California


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