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Needling the Bay State

One of my favorite things to do around here is to find two or three different news stories and find ways to tie them together. Sometimes, though, I can't quite pull a conclusion out of them. This is one of those times.

Yesterday, the Boston Glob reported that the state House had voted to make hypodermic syringes available over the counter, as in 47 other states, instead of by prescription, only. This is one I've had mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it shifts the burden of responsibility from the state to the individual, and as a general principle I support that.

On the other hand, syringes are one of the most easily abused items out there. In addition to the obvious illegal drug connection, their ready availability makes instances like this one far more likely -- and there have been a spate of similar stories of late.

It just goes to show another of my major points: it's almost impossible to foresee all the consequences when one makes a law.

Comments (2)

Meanwhile, in many other st... (Below threshold)

Meanwhile, in many other states, common cold remedies are being moved behind the counter because cretins have learned to make meth from the contents...

Needle exchanges help curb ... (Below threshold)

Needle exchanges help curb the spread of disease through the drug-using community. The downside of the relatively rare possibility of their use as weapons cannot outweigh that benefit.

If you oppose free access to needles, you'd better go get all the razor blades, box cutters, and so on off the shelves. You might as well try to take everything sharp out of society. All a person has to do is break a beer bottle and prick their finger with it for the same effect, and I know a few people who might resent having to drink beer out of a can.

I think you're incorrect when you say "syringes are one of the most easily abused items out there" - Needles aren't abused, drugs are. If you want to stop drug use, stop the drugs. Making needles harder to get is not going to stop an addict from using, it's just going to encourage sharing and reuse.

Talking about unforeseeable consequences, let me know what you think when diabetes-sufferers (receiveing legal syringes) begin experience a much-higher than average spate of muggings, robberies, home-invasions, etc. at the hands of addicts in need of syringes.






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