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Arizona House OKs bill legalizing needle exchange programs

It is part of an effort to cut down on diseases and overdoses among illicit drug users.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Arizona State Capitol building at summertime in Phoenix, Arizona

PHOENIX — The Arizona House has approved a measure that would legalize needle exchange programs as part of an effort to cut down on diseases and overdoses among illicit drug users.

The measure by Republican Rep. Tony Rivero was approved by a 50-10 vote on Wednesday and now moves to the Senate for consideration. 

Rivero has pushed for a law legalizing needle exchange programs for the past three years but never managed to get both the House and Senate to sign off on his proposals. 

This year's effort has been slightly recast to put more of a focus on overdose prevention and efforts to get people into treatment.

Credit: AP
In this Monday, May 6, 2019 photo, Jose Garcia, an injection drug user, deposits used needles into a container at the IDEA exchange, in Miami. The University of Miami pilot program allows users to exchange used syringes for clean ones in order to avoid the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases. Needle exchanges could eventually come to other parts of the state under a new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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