Newsbrief: Bill to Allow Syringe Purchases Moving in Illinois Legislature 3/28/03

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A bill that would allow Illinois residents to buy and possess up to 20 syringes without a prescription passed the Illinois Senate Monday on a vote of 30-24 and is headed for action in the House, where it has had a first reading and been referred to the House Rules Committee. Possession of syringes without a prescription is currently a crime in Illinois.

The bill is supported by a diverse coalition including the Chicago Recovery Alliance, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and more than a dozen more public health, medical and related organizations. The coalition headed by the AIDS Foundation has lobbied since 1999 to get the measure passed, and has now convinced the upper house that access to sterile syringes will reduce HIV/AIDS infection rates in the state.

SB 880 provides that pharmacists may sell up to 20 syringes to persons over the age of 18 without a prescription. The bill also requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop educational materials on safer injection, HIV prevention, syringe disposal and drug treatment, and to make copies of those materials available to pharmacists, who must in turn make them available to persons who buy needles.

The bill has 17 cosponsors in the House (out of 118 members), and supporters plan to keep up the pressure. Hundreds of AIDS advocates traveled to Springfield, the state's capital, on Tuesday and Wednesday to urge legislators to pass the bill as part of the coalition's AIDS Lobby Week.

Click here to read the bill online.

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Issue #280, 3/28/03 The Week Online Needs Your Help | Editorial: I Smuggled Coca Soap into the United States | Road to Vienna: British Government Chides International Narcotics Control Board on Cannabis Rescheduling Critique | Will Canada Marijuana Decriminalization Be Collateral Damage in Iraq War? | Maryland Legislature Rebuffs Drug Czar, Passes Medical Marijuana Bill, Awaits Governor's Signature | DRCNet Interview: Ed Forchion, the New Jersey Weedman | Newsbrief: DEA Issues Final Hemp Rule, Would Ban Hemp Food Products in Weeks, Hempsters Fight Back | Newsbrief: Bill to Allow Syringe Purchases Moving in Illinois Legislature | Newsbrief: Bill to Restrict Needle Exchanges Gets Push in Rhode Island | Newsbrief: Colombia to Get $100 Million Bounty for Supporting Iraq War | Newsbrief: More Americans Dead in Colombia | Newsbrief: Lawsuit Charges Chicago Cops with Pattern of Illegal Stops, Searches of Minorities | Newsbrief: Bush to Nominate Woman Prosecutor to Head DEA | Newsbrief: Silence on Pusherstrasse -- Christiania Drug Sellers Strike for Future of "Free City" | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Jobs at WOLA | The Reformer's Calendar

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