Bill would make pharmacy syringe sales permanent

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Updated: 4/10/2014 4:49 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Assembly has voted to make permanent a program that allows pharmacies to sell syringes to drug users as a way to prevent diseases spread by needle-sharing.

AB1743 passed the Assembly Thursday on a largely party-line, 43-26 vote. The bill also removes a 30-syringe limit, making California the 46th state to allow bulk syringe sales.

The bill's author, Democrat Phil Ting of San Francisco, says AB1743 is supported by public health data.

California pharmacies have been selling syringes over the counter since 2005, but the current law was due to expire at the end of this year.

California law enforcement groups and Republican lawmakers opposed the bill, saying it can result in more addiction and discarded needles. The bill now heads to the Senate.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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