Scott jabbed for safe injection site veto

Harlem, NY safe injection site – republished from The City/NYC

By Guy Page

The Democratic candidate for governor and an outspoken Progressive columnist have chastised Gov. Phil Scott for his veto of H728, which includes money to study “safe injection sites” for opioid users. 

So-called safe injection are popular in Progressive cities (like New York) because they establish police-free zones for opioid injection. Supporters say they reduce overdoses among their users. Opponents say their overall impact on reducing overdoses is less clear, and are a ‘foot in the door’ for legalizing possession and sale of hard drugs. 

The bill orders further study (not actual funding of) safe injection sites. But that’s a bridge too far for Scott, who explained his veto to the Legislature:

“We are all aware the pandemic has had negative impacts on the mental health of Vermonters. This includes concerning increases in drug and alcohol addiction, overdose deaths and suicides. 

“Prior to the pandemic, Vermont was making progress treating opioid addiction with our groundbreaking “hub-and-spoke” treatment system and medically assisted treatment of our corrections populations.

“We also utilize harm reduction strategies, including syringe programs, distribution of Narcan, fentanyl test strips and comprehensive community education. These are proven, evidence-based approaches to saving lives but we must also continue to focus on preventing addiction in the first place and supporting people through treatment and recovery.

“Unfortunately, this bill proposes to shift state policy and financial resources away from prevention and toward unproven strategies such as overdose prevention sites. It’s important to note that what little data exists on this approach is for sites located in large cities, so it’s not applicable to the vast majority of Vermont. Last year, I signed the experimental decriminalization of buprenorphine and am now waiting for the data to show if this had a positive impact on addiction or overdose rates in our state. I believe it’s important to analyze this data before moving to another experimental strategy.”

Democratic challenger Brenda Siegel said Scott’s veto continues what she calls the failed War on Drugs. 

“For the third time this year the Governor vetoed a good drug policy bill,” Siegel said. “This one would have expanded access to rapid treatment and saved lives. It was vetoed because it created an actionable study and he did not want to consider or learn more about a subject that makes him uncomfortable. That is not responsible governance.”

“To continuously veto bills based on failing drug war beliefs is harmful to our state and our communities. What we know is that harm reduction decreases death, use and potency of substances  While criminalization increases use, death and potency of substance. This is not experimental, it is data, it is science and it works,” Siegel said. 

In a column headlined “Was This Phil Scott’s Dumbest Veto?”, Progressive columnist John Walters reflects the left’s increasing impatience with Scott’s veto pen. 

“Howard Dean….amassed his 20 vetoes in 11 years. It’s taken Scott less than six years to rack up 35,” Walters fumed in his self-published The Vermont Political Observer. “I suspect that Scott’s true motivation is antipathy toward safe injection sites. If his people do a study, it might show that the idea has merit. That’d make it tougher to hold a hard line while retaining his fig leaf of moderation.”

Categories: Legislation

9 replies »

  1. Along similar lines of experiment; More than a year after Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize drugs, officials are admitting the pioneering experiment has failed so far.

    Overdoses in just one county have jumped by 700 percent.

    Seizures of fentanyl, marijuana, and opioids have skyrocketed.

    Funding for programs intended to provide drug users with treatment has not materialized. And very few drug users are showing any interest in obtaining that treatment.


  2. I saw an interesting comparison relating to ‘safe drug injection sites’. It would be like designating lanes on our highways for drunk drivers only. Really. What could be wrong with that?

  3. Joe Biden is still handing out free crack pipes so all is not lost for the Dems/Progs. Perhaps they can open up their homes as safe spaces?

  4. To pay attention to candidate seigel’s delusional rants is time wasted. There is NO benefit to the drug user nor the public to condone use of heroin, fentanyl or the myriad of other illicit drugs available. Just what Burlington or Springfield needs. What an asset to Rutland would a legal shooting gallery be….
    Since the mid 1960’s, when the “great society” was proposed and enacted America has drifted to the liberal left- and now in a nose-dive to catastrophe- ideas such as this aren’t worth the time spent talking about it. We’ve endured 50+ years of leftist liberalism, socialism and marxism- how exactly, candidate seigel, has Vermont improved the quality of life for it’s residents? That’d be all residents, not just the political “class” and their elitist donors.

  5. Again, Gov. Scott is right in extending his vetos to include H.728……..What the Progressives and their go along so called journalists do not realize is that the citizens of Vermont do not want west coast drug policy disasters in the Green Mountain State.

    What gubernatorial candidate Brenda Siegel and writer John Walters need to do is look at what’s happening in Burlington, Vermont’s dysfunctional “Progressive social experiment laboratory” to see what’s wrong. The rest of Vermont’s cities and towns don’t not want to be the next Burlington, Chicago, Seattle or San Francisco……..They want safe cities and towns, free from drugs and crime.

  6. If there weren’t so many bills coming through like H728 that really are not in the best interest if the general public, as Bill has pointed out, then Scott’s veto pen would not dip in the ink so often. Glad he is standing up to the progressive agenda that doesn’t seem to mind a few more deaths.

  7. This is yet another “harm reduction strategy” brought to us by the folks that proposed and implemented needle “exchange” programs. The needle programs were marketed to the public emphasizing the word “exchange” and argued that junkies could bring in their old needles and “exchange” them for new ones, one for one. Surprise, surprise, these programs turned out to be simply needle GIVEAWAY programs, and make no such demand that you bring in old ones. And their “harm reduction” strategy in the name of “public health” has resulted in many more blood-tainted syringes disposed of improperly in public places where children and pets are at risk of contacting them. That is a “public health” disaster that shifts the risk of HIV and hepatitis infection from the junkies who make the CHOICE to engage in the risky behavior onto innocent bystanders in public spaces.

  8. How bout you move your governmental offices out of what used to be mental institutions so that the homeless and mentally ill have a place to receive the care they need, the medical attention they need, making them and the public safer? Ever thought of that old idea???

    Oh gosh no, you’d rather throw our tax dollars at some foolish ass ideas. Go Scott go with the Veto pen!

  9. OK then…Maybe Seigel & Walters can VOLUNTEER a place in THEIR neighborhood for a “Safe Injection Facility” (Shooting Gallery) so THEY can SEE firsthand the wonderful, upstanding, taxpaying, polite & civic-minded citizens the “facility” attracts along with the drug dealing, fights, vomit & feces left behind by these great law-abiding people! There’s video on the ‘net of one of these “facilities” in Toronto & Vancouver of the “antics” of junkies & prostitutes that invariably hang around to “ply their wares” as others nod-off into oblivion and yes, some even die despite the on-site “medical personnel”, Narcan & EMT’s..THEN have Seigel & Walters report back to the rest of us..IF they haven’t MOVED OUT after a week or two..

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