White House shot? Newsom reverses, vetoes safe injection bill

Newsom once expressed support for the idea of safe injection pilot programs. His reversal has some wondering about his White House ambitions.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed for a safe injection site pilot program in the state, citing a lack of leadership in its implementation.

In a memo issued on Monday, Newsom wrote that he is concerned about Senate Bill 57 and the operations of the safe injection sites without engaged local leadership and a “well-documented, vetted, and thoughtful operational and sustainability plans.” 


The proposed bill would have authorized the use of safe injection or consumption sites, where people can use illegal controlled substances at supervised facilities.

The state’s Senate passed the proposed bill in a 21-11 vote earlier this month.

During his tenure as California’s Lt. Governor, Newsom strongly advocated for a similar measure that was ultimately vetoed by his predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown.

“Enabling illegal and destructive drug use will never work,” wrote Brown at the time. He said the proposal was “all carrot and no stick” because there was no requirement that the user undergo drug treatment.

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