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Earlier this month, the House banned the District from exchanging used needles and syringes with clean ones within 1,000 feet of “a public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, college, junior college, or university, or any public swimming pool, park, playground, video arcade, or youth center, or an event sponsored by any such entity.”
This map [PDF], prepared by the D.C. government, shows where needle exchange would be permitted (the light-colored areas) should the House bill become law:
(Click to enlarge)
Here’s a thought: There’s some nice patches up in Chevy Chase, Woodley Park, Spring Valley, and American University Park—-neighborhoods rich in policymakers and Hill staffers—-where PreventionWorks could park its mobile needle exchange van. Let’s do that, and have the District bus some addicts over there for a few days, and see just how long this lasts.
Nationals Park, too, seems to be A-OK. Maybe the Nats could do a give-a-needle, get-a-needle night at the ballpark?
Best of all, part of the Capitol grounds—-including portions of the Longworth and Cannon House Office Buildings—-aren’t covered by the amendment. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who sponsored the amendment, has his office in Rayburn. But perhaps his congressional colleagues might have a problem with D.C. handing out needles outside their offices.
Just a thought.