From Iceland — Bill On Safe Consumption Site Submitted To Parliament Again

Bill On Safe Consumption Site Submitted To Parliament Again

Published November 7, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by Commons

A bill that, if passed, would establish a legal safe consumption site for drug addicts in Reykjavík and other municipalities has been introduced to Parliament for the second time. Red Cross Iceland say they welcome the legislation, though they believe it could go further.

Vísir reports that the bill, introduced by Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir, would grant the Directorate of Health the authority to issue permits to municipalities for safe consumption sites.

The bill also importantly puts restrictions on the police—they would not be permitted to interfere with users within the space, nor within an established area around the space, by law. Visitors to the site would have to be 18 years old or older, but would be allowed to use in an environment that places an emphasis on hygiene and safety.

Red Cross Iceland, who have long advocated for such a site, support the bill, but believe it needs to go further, Fréttablaðið reports.

Specifically, they would like to see this bill also covering those addicted to legal prescription drugs, often taken intravenously. Their data indicates that police have confiscated prescription drugs from people if they suspect those drugs have been purchased illegally or are not possessed by the person to whom they were prescribed. As such, Red Cross Iceland would like to see the bill specifically offer protections for these users as well.

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