The Water Cooler – Are Safe Injection Sites A Good Or Bad Idea?

August 30, 2018 12:00 pm · 76 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

Legislation to green light safe injection sites is expected to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Once signed into legislation, the sites will provide a safe space where addicts can inject drugs under the supervision of trained staff.

The first one is set to open in San Francisco under a three-year pilot program.

The sites remain illegal under federal law.

QUESTION: Do you think safe injection sites are a good or bad idea?

Talk about it….

Concord Grape August 30, 2018 at 12:14 PM

Great for the dealers. One stop shop

Strother Martin August 30, 2018 at 12:19 PM

Bad idea you do-Gooders. This won’t solve a damn thing. F’ing dip #%its.

Deaniemarie August 30, 2018 at 12:23 PM

Really, I thought heroin was an illegal drug.

I'm Too Old I guess August 30, 2018 at 12:30 PM

No, this is absurd.

Rollo Tomasi August 30, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Outstanding for the junkies outside of the area. A safe space to come and break the law.

Mika August 30, 2018 at 12:53 PM

Bad. Bad all around.

AnonZ August 30, 2018 at 12:57 PM

Yes, but kinda doubtful most druggies will use them.

USA August 30, 2018 at 1:04 PM

Insanity at it’s highest levels. It just goes to show how far disconnected politicians are from actual reality. Build the wall. If not for illegal immigration, build it to stop the steady flow of cocaine, heroin, and meth. See, an intelligent person looks to stop the cause. An emotional person can only see two feet in front of their face and wants to address the results. Stopping drugs from entering our country will actually solve the problem.

So, I’m voting Republican – to solve the problem

You can vote Democrat – and throw band-aids at the gushing artery

Dave August 30, 2018 at 4:06 PM

You think a border wall is going to significantly impact illegal drug importation? Do you realize that the majority of drugs coming over the border are actually passing through ports of entry in semi-trucks and passenger vehicles? The DEA made this pretty clear in their 2015 report.

OverWhelmed August 30, 2018 at 5:46 PM

And where do you think these semi-trucks and passenger vehicles are coming from? Ports of entry include Mexican and Canadian borders. DUH!

Dawg August 30, 2018 at 1:07 PM

Bad idea. They will attract more addicts to the city which in turn will cause a rise in crime. Addicts must and will steal in order to support their habit.
It would be wiser to spend the money on educating children on the cause and effect of drug addiction, starting in grammar school. Children should be taught about addiction early on in life, what leads up to it and the consequences it will have on their life as an adult. Most addicts didn’t think it would happen to them. A little heroin here, a little heroin there, and all of a sudden, one day they wake up sick and in need of a fix so they will feel better.
Once addicted, most addicts no longer use to get high, they use to keep from getting sick. Hot and cold sweats, the shakes, nausea, insomnia, stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting and loss of appetite, are some of the common symptoms they experience. How do I know this? Because I worked in the medical field dealing with heroin addicts for many years.
Forget the stereotyping, I’ve met some that was a college professor with a PhD, a police officer, and even a CEO of a large company. Drug addiction was their downfall, they ended up losing everything. The college professor became a prostitute, the CEO lost his job, his home in Alamo, his wife and family, and became homeless.
This is some of the things they can teach children in school, what can and will happen to them if they start experimenting with drugs.

Dave August 30, 2018 at 4:10 PM

Are you citing a case study that showed that safe injection sites attract crime? As far as I’m aware there is no evidence to support this claim.

Me August 30, 2018 at 5:41 PM

Speaking as somebody who was educated during Nancy Regan’s “Just Say No” campaign…… doesn’t work. You should feel eternally blessed that you have such little understanding about addiction.

Rollo Tomasi August 31, 2018 at 8:16 AM

So you need a case study to show that providing a safe place to commit crime will attract crime? Huh…

THE ANIMAL August 30, 2018 at 1:09 PM

This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of…………………..

Rob August 30, 2018 at 1:17 PM

Reality Check: people drink booze, people do drugs, people seek all sorts of methods of getting plastered.

Yes, we make some drugs illegal, we make other drugs legal without much real thought as to the reality of each drug.

Regarding injection sites – sure let’s do it.

It’s not as if people who don’t do drugs will wake up and say “Well, now that I can be supervised I can’t wait to inject myself”.

And if we can limit folks who then require emergency medical treatment, get sick from dirty needles – these cost taxpayers a lot of money when they go to the ER and can’t pay….

So, yes, I want to limit the downside financial risk for taxpayers and this is one way to do that.

Dave August 30, 2018 at 4:01 PM

Absolutely agree 100%.

Might as well provide a safe environment to keep them from dying and help prevent the spread of diseases from shared needles. They’re going to do heroin regardless.

Kirkwood August 30, 2018 at 1:19 PM

It could be tried for a while to see if it gets sufficient syringes off the streets. If it doesn’t, close it down and also stop issuing new ones. If the addicts don’t get new ones they’ll hang onto their used ones which would help the litter problem. Most addicts have been offered intervention at some point in their addiction, if they choose the right path there is some hope, if not, we all know where they end up. I have no compassion for drug addicts.

Law Dog August 30, 2018 at 1:26 PM


Silva August 30, 2018 at 1:32 PM

Would it cut down on the volumes of dirty syringes everywhere? STIs? Cause I’d get behind that.

Silva August 30, 2018 at 2:58 PM

Maybe I should’ve said “blood borne illnesses”.

Randy August 30, 2018 at 1:35 PM

If it keeps the needles out of parks and off the streets, do it

Kentucky Derby August 30, 2018 at 1:47 PM

Enabling at it’s worst. I’ve never had an alcohol or a drug problem, but wouldn’t it make more sense to try and overcome the addiction? Like clean and sober? Especially drug addiction, keeping in mind that drugs are illegal, and shooting up is the worst.

I would think addicts would shoot up wherever they feel like shooting up. They’re not looking for “trained supervision.” They want to get high immediately. This is ridiculous.

dragonfly August 30, 2018 at 1:48 PM

Bad idea. Just another excuse for hard core drugs and dealers. Then we the foolish hard working people of the county and country get to support them because they are ill.

Rubbish. Become a contributing person to the rest of society instead of a leech, no matter what your excuse it.

Person August 30, 2018 at 2:19 PM

Drug abusers don’t care about safety….if they did, they wouldn’t be sticking syringes full of chemicals into their veins! These same people sleep in the filthiest of places, but politicians think they will walk a mile to do their drugs in a SAFE injection site?! They don’t CARE where they do drugs!
Sick of the insanity in California. Vote all DEMS out of office please!

Me August 30, 2018 at 5:46 PM

Or you could just move. Take responsibility for your own life and happiness.

Jack's Fan August 30, 2018 at 2:20 PM

Agree with others, if it helps reduce needles left in public spaces and BART, I would support it. My kneejerk reaction was HECK NO, but needles turn up all sorts of places these days and it freaks me out.

Mitch August 30, 2018 at 2:22 PM

Safe injection sites are a band aid on a band aid, and do nothing more than enable bad behavior while trying to eliminate consequences. They do not help, and simply prolong the misery and make it less likely that someone will seek real help.

Dorothy August 30, 2018 at 2:33 PM

Are the dealers invited too? Question: When is it safe to do illegal drugs anyhow? Will the people who use illegal drugs outside the “safe” place be arrested for not using their illegal drugs in the “safe” place? Will the dealers stand outside and sell to those going in or wait until they come out and sell them a new batch? Okay, more than one question there.

Agirl August 30, 2018 at 2:38 PM


Foonman August 30, 2018 at 2:51 PM

I think it only encourages this life style and makes it acceptable. Bunch of BS which will only help to lower the quality of life for others……..

Ricardoh August 30, 2018 at 2:52 PM

Who gave the drug addict their first taste of the drug. My bet it wasn’t a despicable dealer but another drug addict. Therefore drug addicts have become worthless people who screw up the lives of other people. If that is the case they need to be taken off of the street because they perpetuate the problem. I say round them up put them in a detox center. Keep them there until they dry out, or not and put up with the scourge of drug addicts.

Anon August 30, 2018 at 2:58 PM

Bad idea. The last thing the city needs is more drug addicts- this would draw them in mass. How about using the funds to provide treatment rather than enabling them to continue using.

larry August 30, 2018 at 4:04 PM

OMG another ignorant liberal decision how about spending the money on rehab instead? Vote for Cox.

America August 30, 2018 at 4:04 PM

Bad ! This is so asinine!!!

WC August 30, 2018 at 4:07 PM

Don’t we already have a ‘Safe Injection Site’ across the bay area called BART? It’s free to enter too!

Amy August 30, 2018 at 11:06 PM

Good one!

ClayDen August 30, 2018 at 4:10 PM

This is further proof that liberalism is a mental disorder. Fix the problem, don’t enable it.

Bob August 30, 2018 at 4:17 PM

I don’t see what could possibly go wrong.

Original G August 30, 2018 at 5:01 PM

Who exactly is liable if after a person shoots up at one of the “Safe Injection Sites”, operates a motor vehicle and kills someone ???

Can imagine pursuers of emergency transport vehicles are salivating in anticipation.

Willis August 30, 2018 at 5:03 PM

This is not a good idea. Another liberal idea that will open up lawsuits by the addicts that we will be paying. Will the drugs be tested for purity? How much fentanyl is laced in the dope?

Telling It Like August 30, 2018 at 5:05 PM

Ban plastic straws but give away tens of thousands of plastic syringes that end up littering the landscape?

Stove August 30, 2018 at 5:12 PM

Only as long as they have Police onsite to arrest users of illegal drugs!

Concord74 August 30, 2018 at 5:20 PM

Absurd is an understatement. Idiotic is more the fit!!!

Why bother to enforce laws when this is a idiotic means to continue to be drug addicted and keeping dealers in business. This encourages violation of rehabilitation and control.

Alexey August 30, 2018 at 5:30 PM

It feels backwards, but it works. This is what Dutch did: . In general, as with alcohol, the prohibition help criminals make more money. Our southern neighbors feel it right now. If instead of a criminal offense, the drug usage is treated as a disease with legal drugs and controlled environment the criminals will lose incentives to deal drugs, making their business less profitable.

Bay Area Native August 30, 2018 at 5:33 PM

Wait a minute here … aren’t Civic Center and Concord BART stations already injection sites?

After this safe injection “pilot” site launches, I anticipate some sort of the following headline to appear in the San Francisco Chronicle :

“Demand for Heroin Surges as Safe Users Flock to Tax Payer-Funded Injection Sites”

In the future, and in taking a holistic view of our utopian metropolis of Oakland and San Francisco, I foresee a transient drug-user’s day to unfold in the following 9 step process:

1) Head to the closest BART station at 4am, jump the turn style, and hop on a train to catch some zzz’s until about 9am —>

2) Get off at Embarcadero, exit the station and set up shop somewhere in downtown San Francisco to panhandle for the next three hours (lots of bleeding hearts with lots of money heading to and from Mixt Greens for their $15 salads around that time … heck, you might even get some food out of it) —>

3) Around Noon, you take that day’s “earnings” and head to a local recreational cannabis dispensary (assuming you have I.D., but if not just head to Powell St. BART station) to pick up a gram of some cheap herb —>

4) Head to a liquor store for some cheap booze —>

5) Begin consuming said herb and booze until around 3pm —>

6) Take another free BART ride … this time to downtown Oakland where you can quickly walk to one of the many city-sanctioned “tent cities” or “Tuff Shed Camps” to promptly score some heroin —>

7) Around 5pm, you take a final free BART ride back to SF (gotta love all that space on the train at this time of day … reverse commute!) where you will take said heroin to a tax-payer funded safe injection site, inject yourself with 75 percent of your smack, then wander around the City screaming at the sky until the withdrawals begin, at which point (probably around 10 or 11pm) you “unsafely” inject — slumped over on a prominent street corner — that last bit of smack you kept squirreled in your rolling suitcase (aka baby stroller) —>

8) Wander around the City some more until BART opens again at 4am —>

9) Repeat.

America August 30, 2018 at 5:34 PM

The people who initiated and passed this legislation should open up their homes to the drug addicts. Then I will be all for it.

Non bay native August 30, 2018 at 6:35 PM

Um hero in doesn’t make you yell at random people/the sky that is Meth… and if reduces the amount of syringes and poop around the city why not. How have they worked in other Cities? I know that Boston has some??

ConcordBadger August 30, 2018 at 6:38 PM

As long as they are paper needles and not plastic. Like the straws.

Johnny reb August 30, 2018 at 6:46 PM

These dam liberals only in California they get free every month we don’t have to pay for food because they find an establishment that feeds in for free so all the money goes on dope my hometown of Martinez has been destroyed by the situation and now they’re giving then a place to go shoot dope in the open what the hell is wrong with these people

Citizen August 30, 2018 at 7:41 PM


Googlar August 30, 2018 at 8:16 PM

Why should he move? Why shouldn’t he voice his opinion and strive to improve his state and community as he sees fit? I find it baffling that you call yourself citizen while chasing away other citizens with whom you share citizenship in favor of illegals.

Citizen August 30, 2018 at 6:46 PM

Better than these people doing that on the street! Stops the spread of blood born diseases. Counseling is available to help them also. Same as giving young men condoms and young girls birth control pills! Same exact thinking. We do not condone these behaviors but you have to intervene to protect the general public. It is very sad we have to do any of this.

Googlar August 30, 2018 at 8:09 PM

Don’t stop there. Lets get safe DUI lanes on the highways, legal murder zones in our counties, permitted shoplifting zones in our malls, rape areas in our parks, and sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants in our state.

Dave August 30, 2018 at 9:07 PM

A safe injection site is not a public hazard. In fact, they reduce the spread of disease caused by needle sharing, public needle disposal in places like parks and deaths attributed to overdose. None of the comparisons you made make any sense.

Googlar September 1, 2018 at 2:27 PM

Safe DUI lanes are not a public hazard. In fact, they reduce the spread of drunk driving fatalities in other lanes, drunk driving in other lanes is attributed to injury and death.

Legal murder zones are not a public hazard. Akhtually they reduce murders in other places like parks and death’s attributed to murders in illegal murder zones.

Rape areas in our parks are not a public hazard. In fact, they reduce rape in non rape areas and deaths attributed to rape.

ZZ August 30, 2018 at 8:37 PM

A supervised junkie??!! And the chaos continues..

KAD August 30, 2018 at 9:16 PM

If it keeps needles off the streets, why not.

RANDOM TASK August 30, 2018 at 9:19 PM

Wow people this is the same as so called gun control

You think the hard core druggies are going to come out of their holes and run to a gov facility to do their business really ….these junkies want nothing to do with society …they are trying to escape it

It sounds pretty on the governors retirement Resume as all of these dem socialist bills being passed ….fluff so the governor can make happy with him self after he leaves office and when the state falls into a crap hole he can say well it all fell apart after I left

It’s all political ass kissing and tossing but the lemmings love it …so let em eat cake

Dave August 31, 2018 at 1:01 AM

Please at least research the topic a little bit instead of blindly dismissing it entirely. The cohort studies on the SIS in Vancouver showed 88 fewer deaths per 100,000, 63% fewer overdose ambulance calls, fewer skin infections, reduced HIV transmission, reduced needle sharing through education.. the list goes on. Turns out people use these things and society benefits from them.

Cautiously Informed August 30, 2018 at 9:27 PM

The state of California continues to crumble away, thanks to the insane Jerry Brown and all of his Democrat lackeys.

Cautiously Informed August 31, 2018 at 12:41 PM

Hey Mick,
It’s the democratic liberals, from Jerry Brown on down, who are destroying California. And the above story is just another example of it. For criminals, illegal aliens, welfare deadbeats and air headed snowflakes the state is turning into a utopia.

p.s. Do yourself a favor and look up the definition of lackey.

Abbie R. August 30, 2018 at 10:10 PM

The only Hope is Dope!

jjshawk August 31, 2018 at 1:09 AM

I’m on the fence. Not sure if “Safe Drug Places” are the answer, but the ‘War on Drugs” hasn’t worked out too well either. I don’t have all the answers, not sure how to solve the problem.
Drugs are here ,because, there is a demand, to which the underground market has been responding for decades. Drugs are Pandora,s box, The more a substance is regulated or controlled, the more expensive it becomes. Let’s face it, most drug users are on the bottom of the economic food chain. These people can’t afford drugs, so they commit crimes to get drugs. The drug users/addicts steal cars, bikes, electronics, and etc., sell them, and/or the parts, for pennies on the dollar in order to get their daily fix. If that’s the case, just give the drugs away? The State seems to enjoy giving free stuff away. How about a “Free Drug” pilot program?
At this point, I have zero faith in our elected officials (both sides of the isle) to solve the current drug crisis.

Christopher Pilla August 31, 2018 at 6:45 AM

So, it’s legal now to shoot up, but illegal to have a plastic straw, plastic bag. I can go to jail for offering a straw to a customer, but am encouraged to shoot up illegal drugs. What the F is wrong with this picture?

Ricardoh August 31, 2018 at 8:27 AM

It is called democrats in charge.

Darwin August 31, 2018 at 6:52 AM

Bad bad idea.
Build it and they will come. The area will be overrun with druggie criminals.

Dr. Jellyfinger August 31, 2018 at 7:58 AM

Well….. call me old fashioned, but I think shooting up anywhere other than inside a big, dirty, cardboard box/home under an overpass just takes all the customary Junkie tradition out of getting high…. is nothing sacred?

Rollo Tomasi August 31, 2018 at 8:08 AM

Here’s what is easy to understand about addiction. If you’re not stupid enough to stick the needle in the first time, you can’t get addicted. Unless someone forced an individual at gunpoint the first time, I have zero sympathy or concern for these cretins.

Justifiable anger August 31, 2018 at 8:09 AM

I need more information. Perhaps Hope Johnson can edify us since she was a supervisor in SF and outreach program during/after the transition to sainthood of drug using homeless, during the Gavinization of said city.

What are they injecting and where do they go afterwards?

Please do not bring this to Concord.

Anon August 31, 2018 at 8:21 AM

It is a great idea. They’ve opened similar sites in other countries. Numbers show that it drastically lowers rates of overdose and disease. It prevents people from just leaving needles everywhere. Many of these sites also offer mental health and career services so that these people can actually get help as well. It’s about time that we start treating drug addiction like a healthcare issue and this is good first step.

Moon Dog August 31, 2018 at 9:07 AM

Don’t be surprised if they put a safe injection site in Martinez .. Fish and Loaves feeds all the Drug addicts allready , I’m guessing they’ll put a shooting gallery next door .. I’ve only met one person who is Homeless that don’t do Drugs or Alcohol .. But she’s mentally ill

Bill Cutting August 31, 2018 at 9:47 AM

I think the part that bothers most people is you’re not preventing it you’re encouraging it

lena August 31, 2018 at 1:37 PM

Foreign countries have a wealth of experience with this sort of problem, more so than Americans, and I’m pretty sure this is one thing they have found effective in getting the worst of it under some sort of control. It is a problem that isn’t going to solve itself, so cities will have to intervene somehow … unless, of course, you don’t mind your kids wading knee deep through a bunch of people shooting up on their way to school. I’m very much against illegal drug use, recreationally or otherwise. But, when the problem is in your face like it is in San Francisco, it simply cannot be ignored. If someone has a better idea, I’d like to hear it. I think it is sad that San Francisco historically seems to germinate these societal ills which get a foothold there for some reason. It would be nice if city leaders could head this sort of scourge off before that happens and return a beautiful city to something beside the sorry state it is in today.

SF oh August 31, 2018 at 3:47 PM

I haven’t really heard how they’re planning to do this. Is this BYOD or does the City provide something like methadone to them? If they have to bring it themselves, then why would they go there?

Mika August 31, 2018 at 5:47 PM

So when they are done shooting up, then what? Don’t they want to veg out after shooting up? Will they be able to walk back out on the street, grab their shopping carts and fall out in the neighborhood?

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