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Injection booths at Insite, a supervised injection site in Vancouver visited by a delegation from Denver in January.
Injection booths at Insite, a supervised injection site in Vancouver visited by a delegation from Denver in January.
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Reader: Instead of Safe-Use Sites, Why Don't We Legalize and Tax Heroin?

After Denver City Council affirmed plans to try a safe-use site for injection-drug users (all pending state approval), the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado and the Drug Enforcement Administration released a joint statement bashing the project.

Here's what readers have to say about the plan and the feds' response:

Marcelo says:

Of course the feds would say this. They want everyone to continue ODing and being addicted to opioids. It's more money for them.

Mark jokes:

The federal government always knows what's best for American citizens!!

Chris notes:

Westwood once again doing what it does best: stirring the pot, inciting division, and writing borderline unreadable articles. This is an extremely complicated issue that deserves thorough discussion and debate... but I guess it’s just easier to call people on “the other side” stupid than actually try to engage in an adult conversation about the issue.... I personally support the idea of these injection sites, but there is a ton of grey area. As usual, thank you for sharing your 2 cents in the laziest, most crass way possible.

Gene argues:

It's interesting that a safe-use site is basically a sanctuary for drug use. Wouldn't it make more sense to legalize heroin and tax the hell out of it, but also ensuring it can only be used at a safe site?

I'm tired of my taxes going to things that I don't benefit from. My taxes going to a safe-use site is BS.

And Animas suggests:

We need to legalize drugs like they did in Portugal.

Keep reading for more stories about safe-use sites in Denver.

Reader: Instead of Safe-Use Sites, Why Don't We Legalize and Tax Heroin?
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"Albus Brooks: Denver Needs Supervised Use Site Whether Trump Likes It or Not"

Reader: Instead of Safe-Use Sites, Why Don't We Legalize and Tax Heroin?
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"Why Denver Library's Central Branch Shouldn't Be Only Heroin Safe-Use Site"

Reader: Instead of Safe-Use Sites, Why Don't We Legalize and Tax Heroin?
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"Denver City Council Passes Safe-Use Site Plan: 'This Is About Our Neighbors'"

Here's the start of the statement that the feds released this week, and our response:

Introduction: The Denver City Council recently passed an ordinance that proposes establishing supervised use sites, where drug users would be allowed to lawfully inject heroin and other illegal drugs in a facility operated by a governmental organization or a nonprofit. This proposal still has a number of steps to go before it becomes a reality. In the meantime, there are a few things Coloradans should know.

Our take: Nothing inherently false yet. But get ready.

Attack one: Foremost, the operation of such sites is illegal under federal law. 21 U.S.C. Sec. 856 prohibits the maintaining of any premises for the purpose of using any controlled substance. Potential penalties include forfeiture of the property, criminal fines, civil monetary penalties up to $250,000, and imprisonment up to 20 years in jail for anyone that knowingly opens, leases, rents, maintains, or anyone that manages or controls and knowingly and intentionally makes available such premises for use (whether compensated or otherwise). Other federal laws likely apply as well.

Our take: You know what else is against federal law? The possession, use and sale of marijuana. And unless we're very much mistaken, all of those things are happening in Colorado and a slew of other states across the country right now, despite nearly identical warnings from various law enforcers in the administration of President Donald Trump. As for the use of the word "likely" in the last sentence: Don't you guys know for sure? Couldn't you have had an intern look it up for you?

Keep reading for more on the issue, and let us know what you think about safe-use sites in a comment or at editorial@westword.com.

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