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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Pacific Legal Foundation Sues to Strike Down Sacramento

February 24, 1995
Business Wire (02/22/95)

The needle exchange program in Sacramento County violates California laws which prohibit the furnishing of needles for purposes of drug use, according to legal documents filed Wednesday by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). Attorneys for PLF have sought to intervene in a lawsuit recently filed by county officials who are trying to obtain court approval of the program. On Nov. 29, 1994, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the program in concept, saying that a clean needle supply would stem the spread of AIDS among injection drug users. "A lawful and more compassionate approach to reducing the spread of AIDS among addicts is to get them to stop using needles, clean or dirty," said PLF's Director of Litigation Anthony T. Caso. Under the California Health and Safety Code, it is a misdemeanor to provide hypodermic needles without a prescription under circumstances where one should reasonably know that they will be used to inject a controlled substance into the body.