US judge: Injection sites don’t violate federal drug laws

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal judge in Philadelphia has ruled that a supervised injection site designed to thwart drug overdoses would not violate federal drug laws.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh Jr. could clear the way for Philadelphia to open what would be the nation’s first legally sanctioned site where people could inject drugs and have medical help nearby if they overdose.

McHugh ruled Congress could not have intended a 1980s-era drug law to cover such plans because the idea “had not yet entered public discourse.”

The issue has divided public officials around the nation. Seattle, New York and San Francisco are also considering supervised injection sites.

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