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City of Oroville moves forward with needle program ban

The Oroville City Council voted Tuesday morning to move forward with a ban on clean needle programs within its city limits.

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 11:15 AM
Updated: Mar 11, 2020 8:28 AM

OROVILLE, Calif. – The Oroville City Council voted Tuesday morning to move forward with a ban on clean needle programs within its city limits.

This motion comes after lawmakers vocalized their frustration with needle exchange programs, exemplified in Chico.

The picture shows drug needles that were found at Bidwell Junior High School in Chico.

The council held a special meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the issue. They decided to approve the ordinance, which would ban needle exchange programs within city limits.

Kimberly Craven, from Chico says, "It’s a huge win for families it’s a huge win for kids and I believe that it’s going to sort of carry over."

Richard Acosta, from Oroville, says he is against needle distribution programs, "I think it creates more problems than it solves. We need to get people help not give them a free needle distribution," Acosta said. 

However, not everyone was happy with the decision. 

Dan Vado, from Oroville, says he supports needle programs. "I don’t think a program should be shut down when its pennies on the dollar and could potentially save peoples lives." 

The ban would not prohibit physicians or hospitals from giving needles to those in need, and would not prohibit pharmacies from selling needles. 

Oroville Mayor Chuck Reynolds told Action News Now, that they have the option to opt-out of the program, and will be writing letters to the state legislature about their decision. 

Action News Now Kristian Lopez spoke to city officials at the meeting who said the next step will be a public hearing on April 7. If it's passed at the hearing, the ban will go into effect 30 days later. 

RELATED: Congressman LaMafla announces legislation to defund needle programs.

Assemblyman James Gallagher took to Twitter sharing his excitement with Oroville’s decision to ban needle programs in the city.

RELATED READ: CA Department of Public Health approves needle program for Chico

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