On Wednesday, January 17, the UK Parliament's House of Commons held a debate on supervised consumption sites. On this installment of Free Culture Radio, we bring you portions of that audio, including MPs Ronnie Cowan, Thangam Debbonaire, and Alison Thewliss.
In several nations, including most EU members, supervised consumption spaces are an accepted and integral part of overall drug control policies. These spaces enhance public safety as well as promoting public health. In the UK, drug consumption rooms and supervised consumption spaces are now a topic for discussion at the highest levels.
In the US, Congress has yet to act, but a number of cities, counties, and states across the country (e.g. King County/Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Ithaca, NY; and the states of California and Vermont) are making plans to set up supervised consumption sites for people who use drugs in order to prevent overdose deaths and the spread of blood borne diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. Several other cities and counties are in the discussion phase, and in many more, such as Portland, OR, activists and public health officials are working to get the discussion going in the public sphere.