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Legislators Don't Get Point of Needle Bill

June 16, 2002

Re "Clean Needles' Big Payoff," Editorial, May 29:

Your editorial on the passage of SB 1785 by the state Senate was right on. I was disappointed but not surprised to see that state senators from Orange County voted against it. People confuse making syringes available with encouraging injection of illicit drugs. As a retired nurse who worked in infection control for years, I have seen the ravages of HIV and hepatitis B and C. Making needles available is good public health policy. I would like to see the local health departments educate our elected officials regarding the lives that could be saved by this bill and the introduction of needle exchange programs.

I hope your readers will let their Assembly representatives know that they want them to support SB 1785.

They also should encourage Gov. Gray Davis to sign this bill.

Pearl Jemison-Smith

Garden Grove

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