Kalamazoo votes to allow needle exchanges with city approval

Posted at 9:32 AM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 09:32:04-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The City of Kalamazoo is moving forward on efforts to allow the distribution of clean needles to help curb the spread of disease among intravenous drug users.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the Kalamazoo City Commission voted Monday on an amendment to reverse a ban on such programs, which offer clean needles and liquid that can be used to inject drugs. Prior approval must be sought before an organization begins operating an exchange program.

Nancy King, founding member of Southwest Michigan Families Against Narcotics, says needle exchanges can help keep people alive. Her daughter died of a drug overdose in 2012.

Northside Association for Community Development Executive Director Mattie Jordan-Woods says she fears a needle distribution program could impact some parts of the city harder than others.