May 11, 2004
Needle exchange programs have proven to be "very effective in reducing HIV/AIDS transmission, different types of hepatitis" and do not increase drug use, said Assemblymember Keith Richman (R-Chatsworth), a physician. "It will make it administratively easier for counties and cities to run these needle exchange programs. It has a public health benefit for our state," said Richman.
"We shouldn't be in the business of giving away syringes and drug paraphernalia," countered Assemblymember Ray Haynes (R- Murrieta), who said the bill enabled and encouraged drug users to remain addicted. "That's not what our government should be doing." Haynes' attempt to require that counties and cities fully fund public safety prior to needle exchanges was rejected.