Missouri lawmakers consider bill for free needle exchange

(AP) - A Missouri bill would make it legal for
organizations to provide drug users with free needles.The Springfield News-Leader reports that the Safe Syringe Access bill is moving to the House of Representatives after being passed by the Committee on Urban Issues this week.

The proposed legislation would exempt health care institutions registered with the Department of Health and Senior Services that distribute hypodermic needles or syringes from violating drug paraphernalia laws.

David Stoecker is the director of nonprofit Better Life in Recovery and a recovering addict. He says having a needle exchange program will increase the likelihood addicts will one day seek treatment because they've found a place where people care about their health.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. Holly Rehder of Sikeston.

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