PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s idea to combat the overdose crisis with a so-called safe injection site is being met with strong opposition from the state’s top cop.
The city’s approach is unconventional, but it’s also illegal, in the eyes of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
“I’ve made it clear to the city there would need to be changes in federal and state law to allow that,” he said.
Shapiro says his office is focusing on punishing dealers, holding drug companies and doctors accountable, and access to treatment.
“There’s no safe way to inject yourself with this kind of poison,” he said.
Shapiro points to a bust Sunday at a house on 4th Street in Feltonville, where two men were arrested and agents seized more than $2.5 million worth of heroin and fentanyl.
“One dose of this poison right here can kill you,” he said. “We just took 250,000 of those doses off the streets.”
Overdoses, largely fueled by opioids, last year claimed more than 1200 lives in the city.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner does not appear to be concerned about the legal hurdles the plan faces.
“The DA’s office is not going to stop good people from saving lives,” Krasner tells CBS3. “That’s the bottom line. We have three to four people dying a day in Philadelphia. We need to create a situation in which they can survive long enough to get their lives together, get rehabilitation.”