Victory Makes Way for Safehouse to Open Site in Philadelphia, Sets Legal Precedent for Others
New York, NY – Below is a statement from Lindsay LaSalle, Managing Director of the Department of Law and Policy — Health, for the Drug Policy Alliance, in response to a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruling in United States v. Safehouse that the proposed supervised consumption site would not violate the federal “crack house” statute.
“As we are in the midst of one of the nation’s worst public health crises, today’s ruling is a significant victory in the fight to save lives. Though legal questions remain, this decision—that the federal ‘crack house’ statute does not apply to supervised consumption sites like Safehouse—sets an important legal precedent in the fight to establish evidence-based interventions to address drug use and related harms. We hope this decision sends a signal to the Trump Administration that criminalization is not the right response to overdose deaths and that the administration will rethink efforts to interfere with state-level drug policy that prioritizes individual and community health.”
In July, the Drug Policy Alliance orchestrated an extensive amicus brief effort on behalf of numerous organizations and individuals representing public health, criminal justice, law enforcement, faith, homelessness, and impacted families and communities in support of Safehouse. Over the past several years, DPA has led the effort to authorize and implement supervised consumption sites nationwide, including active involvement in introducing state legislation in California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.