Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
Santa Fe, N.M. – In response to news that the New Mexico State Legislature passed a bill (HB 52) to decriminalize the possession of drug checking supplies and devices which can greatly reduce the risk of overdose and other potential harms, Emily Kaltenbach, Senior Director of Criminal Legal and Policing Reform at the Drug Policy Alliance released the following statement:
“The overdose crisis is claiming more lives than ever before. Yet, tragically, it’s still illegal in many states for people to possess drug checking supplies, which can greatly reduce the risk of overdose and other potential harms, by confirming the substance they intended to take is free of any more harmful combinations. It’s outrageous that people across this country are still being criminalized for possessing supplies and tools that they are solely using to keep themselves safer amid record overdose deaths. And just as counterintuitive, that service providers are blocked from distributing resources that can help people live healthier and more stable lives.
The New Mexico state legislature righted this wrong last night by passing House Bill 52 with overwhelming bi-partisan support. Once the Governor signs this bill, it will be legal at the end of June to possess and distribute drug checking supplies and devices. Drug prohibition has only resulted in the drug supply becoming far more adulterated and more dangerous, as is evident in the record overdose deaths we are seeing in New Mexico and the rest of the country. There’s no excuse to keep drug checking supplies illegal, especially when this many lives are on the line.”