Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1430567
 
 

Footnotes (289)



 


 



Federalism, Policy Learning, and Local Innovation in Public Health: The Case of the Supervised Injection Facility


Scott Burris


Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Evan D. Anderson


Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania; Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Leo Beletsky


Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Corey S. Davis


Network for Public Health Law

July 6, 2009

St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 53, 2009

Abstract:     
Evidence from international evaluations suggests that safe injection facilities (SIFs) may represent a medically effective and economically efficient strategy for reducing the incidence and harms of injection drug use among the chronically homeless and otherwise marginalized people. The success of such facilities in other countries has amplified calls for their introduction in the United States where injection drug use among the most difficult to reach groups continues to be an intractable source of numerous individual and public health harms as well as a major financial burden for certain municipalities.

In recognition of the fact that even evidence-based health interventions may fall under the ambit of laws targeting drugs and drug users, we analyzed the legal environment for publicly authorized SIFs in the United States. Our conclusions suggest that states and some municipalities have the power to authorize SIFs under their longstanding powers to protect the public’s health, but that federal authorities could still interfere with these facilities under the possession and “Crack House Statute” provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

We analyze the applicability of these provisions and discuss possible defenses rooted in statutory interpretation, preemption and the Commerce Clause. We conclude that plausible legal arguments exist that those operating an SIF should not (and perhaps can not) be convicted under the auspices of the CSA. However, state- or locally-authorized SIFs can proceed free of legal uncertainty only if federal authorities explicitly authorize them or decide not to interfere. Given legal uncertainty and the similar experience with syringe exchange programs, we recommend a process of sustained health research, strategic advocacy, and political deliberation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 66

Keywords: IDU, injection, police power, harm reduction

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: July 7, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Burris, Scott and Anderson, Evan D. and Beletsky, Leo and Davis, Corey S., Federalism, Policy Learning, and Local Innovation in Public Health: The Case of the Supervised Injection Facility (July 6, 2009). St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 53, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1430567

Contact Information

Scott C. Burris (Contact Author)
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6576 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.temple.edu/lawschool/phrhcs/index.html
Evan D. Anderson
Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
2159000359 (Phone)
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
Leo Beletsky
Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences ( email )
400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-5540 (Phone)
Corey S. Davis
Network for Public Health Law ( email )
Saint Paul, MN
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 931
Downloads: 180
Download Rank: 96,937
Footnotes:  289

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.250 seconds