The governor of Rhode Island on Wednesday signed a bill to establish a safe consumption site pilot program where people could test and use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment. It’s the first state in the country to legalize harm reduction centers. The legislation was approved by the House of Representatives last month when lawmakers also accepted a Senate companion version. Last week, the Senate, which had passed an earlier version of the bill in February, approved changes and gave final approval, sending the proposal to Gov. Dan McKee (D). The governor didn’t issue a statement on the legislation, but his office noted in a press release that he signed it along with more than 20 other bills. Under the new law, individual municipalities will still need to authorize the facilities to operate in their jurisdictions during the two-year pilot program. The bill was partly informed by recommendations from an overdose task force convened under former Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), and it also calls for the creation of an advisory committee. That panel will be required to advise the state Department of Health on how to “maximize” the benefits of the centers.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 07/07/2021 14:50:00

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