Andrew Yang Wants To Invest In Safe Consumption Sites

By Desiree Bowie 12/05/19

“I would not only decriminalize opiates for personal use but I would also invest in safe consumption sites around the country.”

Andrew Yang
ID 147436902 © John Poltrack |

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang discussed his plans to decriminalize opioids and the need for harm reduction sites during an interview featured on The Hill released this week. 

“I would not only decriminalize opiates for personal use but I would also invest in safe consumption sites around the country,” Yang told Krystal Ball in a recent interview. “You go home and you’re still addicted and you wind up in many cases overdosing again. We need to refer these people to counseling, treatment and safe consumption sites as needed.”

Yang took Purdue Pharma and the government to task for their roles in the ongoing opioid epidemic.

“At this point we have to say this was a systemic failure of capitalism run amok in the worst and most destructive way possible and that our government should come clean, claw back the resources from the drug companies and put them to work in communities to try to make people stronger and healthier—but also say to individuals who are struggling with addiction that this is not a crime of personal character, this is a systemic problem and if you’re using drugs and addicted, we should be referring you to counseling and treatment and not a prison cell,” he said.

Julian Castro Is In Favor Of Safe Consumption Sites Too

Julian Castro, another Democratic presidential candidate has made headlines recently for his statements on safe consumption sites. Castro discussed his views and policies while speaking at a forum hosted by the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition. 

“I would like these communities to be able to pursue these safe consumption spaces and essentially pilot out how they work,” he said, according to Marijuana Moment. “I believe that we owe it to the effort to see how we can make sure that we avoid [overdose deaths].

“We’ve been trying it one way for so long and I also believe, having been a mayor of a city, that one of the values of local communities is that they can try out policy in their own community and measure the results and see how it works. The system that we have in place right now doesn’t seem to be working very much at all. Whether it’s Philadelphia or its some of the other cities that have tried it, I believe that we should allow for the piloting of these programs and that that will help us come to a determination nationally about the approach.”

Sanders & Warren

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have also expressed support for safe consumption sites in their platforms. 

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Desiree Bowie is a writer and movie lover from Los Angeles, California. Follow her on Twitter @dangerbowie