Star-Ledger (Newark) (01.10.12) - Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Legislature on Monday night approved a bill that would
allow persons at least 18 years old to purchase syringes from
pharmacies without a prescription. Gov. Chris Christie had
conditionally vetoed the bill earlier in the day, commending
efforts to prevent disease but citing his concern that minors
might access syringes.
"While this legislation would remove unnecessary impediments
for insulin-dependent diabetics and other individuals who use
injectable medications, additional public safety measures are
necessary to limit the distribution of needles and syringes
used for non-medical purposes, and to discourage minors from
buying them," said the governor's veto statement.
In response to Christie's concerns, the amended legislation
requires that pharmacists be shown a photo ID or other proof
that a buyer is not a minor. The revision also clarifies that
criminal prosecutions for drug possession and distribution
would not be hindered by the law.
The revised measure passed by votes of 22-9 in the Senate and
55-17 in the Assembly. The state Department of Health and
Senior Services must provide pharmacists with information
about drug treatment and syringe disposal, according to the
"We are thrilled," said Roseanne Scotti, director of the Drug
Policy Alliance of New Jersey. "The changes are very workable