Hypodermic needles won’t be sold legally

The Associated Press
Wednesday October 02, 2002

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a bill Monday that would have allowed pharmacies to sell hypodermic needles to adults without a doctor’s prescription. 

The bill, by Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-San Jose, would have also allowed people over the age of 18 to possess up to 30 hypodermic needles or syringes. 

Bill supporters said the measure was intended to reduce the number of cases of HIV and other diseases caused by the sharing of needles among drug addicts. They said needle sharing is linked to 19 percent of all AIDS and half of all Hepatitis C cases. 3/8 

But opponents of the measure said it would encourage drug use. 

In a statement released Monday, Davis said he could not sign the measure because it did not require a one-on-one needle exchange, which has been the basis of needle distribution programs already authorized throughout the state. “This bill could potentially increase the amount of contaminated needles and syringes in parks, beaches and other public areas.”