Governor Brown says no to San Francisco's safe injection site plan

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Brown vetoed legislation that would have allowed San Francisco to open the nation's first supervised drug injection site.

Last month, a mock drug injection site had been set up in San Francisco's Tenderloin District.

But, Governor Brown rejected any proposals saying, "enabling illegal and destructive drug use will never work."

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has been a supporter of these sites as a way to address the number of deaths associated with drug overdoses.

"When they decide in that moment that they want help, where are they going to go? It happened in the middle of the night, where are they going to go?" Breed told reporters Monday.

VIDEO: Here's what a safe injection site could look like in SF
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A model of what a safe injection site could look like is now open in San Francisco. Here's a tour of the facilities.

These sites would allow users to inject drugs under the supervision of trained medical personnel while having access to counseling.

Those who shoot up regularly say they were ready to welcome a safe site.
"Drug use is inevitable and they might as well try to make it safe for the people who do it," said a drug user who did not want to give his name.

Other countries have had some success with safe injection sites.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada published a report that found that these sites have helped lower the overdose mortality rate among users.

RELATED: Safe injection sites remain hot debate in San Francisco

Yet on the other hand, Vancouver is on track to see more people die this year from overdoses than in the previous year. That's because more people are using fentanyl, which is deemed unsafe and toxic.

Laura Thomas of the Drug Policy Alliance says these sites are actually saving lives. "If they didn't have them, the death toll would be astronomically higher. Their biggest problem is that they don't have enough capacity, not enough sites, said Thomas.

Instead, she says, they shoot up on the streets.

In the U.S. the federal government had also threatened to crack down on these sites if they moved ahead with their plans.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein recently wrote that these "injection sites destroy the surrounding community."
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