Philadelphia has banned supervised drug injection sites in the opioid-ravaged city, drawing calls from Liberal Mayor Jim Kenny who tried to veto the bill.
The City Council on Thursday strongly opposed the 14-1 veto to override Kenny.
Council members scolded Kenny for his unwillingness to make tough decisions and held him responsible for the rising number of overdose deaths in the embattled city.
“This is what leadership looks like: making decisions that are unpopular and that are difficult, but necessary,” said Council Member Quetcy Lozada. the Philadelphia researcherwho defends the decision.
Lozada, whose district includes Kensington and one of the country’s largest open-air drug markets, has strongly opposed supervised drug injection sites.
The mayor must “remember that the overdoses that have occurred over the past eight years are his responsibility,” Loaza added.
A record 1,413 people died from overdoses last year, an 11 percent increase from the year before, city health officials reported earlier this week.
Philadelphia bans supervised drug injection sites in the opioid-ravaged city after council members called out Liberal Mayor Jim Kenny, who vetoed the bill
Kensington, which was a bustling industrial district until the 1950s, has been described by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “the poorest neighborhood in the poorest big city in America”
The mayor (pictured) must “remember that the overdoses that have occurred over the past eight years are his responsibility,” said Council Member Quetcy Lozada.
The legislation calls into question controlled drug use as the city grapples with the opioid epidemic.
The law takes effect immediately and zoning codes have been updated to ban supervised drug consumption sites in nine of the city’s 10 municipal districts.
The Kensington area – known as ‘ground zero’ due to the city’s drug epidemic – is one of nine districts where supervised drug injection sites will be banned.
Photos obtained by DailyMail.com show addicts shooting up in broad daylight, standing hunched over or passing out in the street.
Drug users had raw, gaping wounds that needed urgent medical attention. There were needles, syringes and trash on the sidewalks.
Photos obtained by DailyMail.com show addicts shooting up in broad daylight, standing hunched over or passing out on the street
Many had raw, gaping wounds that needed urgent medical attention. And there were needles, syringes and trash on the sidewalks
West Philadelphia’s Third District, represented by Democrat Jamie Gauthier, is not involved, but she voted in favor of the bill, adding that she respects her colleagues for enacting zoning laws in their districts.
The bill would require operators to get special permission from the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment to open a drug injection site, a process that could take years.
Kenny pushed back, saying the bill is “clearly intended to ban overdose prevention centers.”
The Kenney administration has for years supported the plan to establish supervised drug injection sites – a facility that would “save lives, reduce public consumption and reduce dangerous litter in other cities around the world.”
“I am frustrated that my colleagues are not allowing our city to lead other communities in implementing public health policies,” Kenney said. “This is a public health crisis and not a matter of public opinion.”
The 1,413 overdose deaths represent an 11 percent increase from 2021, when 1,276 people in Philadelphia fatally overdosed, mostly after using illicit opioids.
Nearly 80 percent of fatal overdoses were caused by opioids, mainly fentanyl, which has largely replaced heroin in Philadelphia.
The second most common drug in overdose deaths was cocaine.
Black residents were hit significantly harder, with the death rate among this group rising 20 percent in the city.
As the city grapples with the opioid epidemic, Philadelphians are also decrying a surge in violent crimes.
Shocking footage from the City of Brotherly Love shows Fine Wine And Good Spirits being smashed apart in latest flash robbery crime
This photo shows a large number of people running toward the Lululemon store during the attack
The latest figures, up to last Sunday, show that there have been 302 murders in the city so far this year.
There have also been 402 reported cases of rape, 58,759 cases of property crimes, 3,701 cases of aggravated assault and 1,314 shooting victims.
The city suffered two flash mob incidents last week when masked looters looted Footlocker, Apple, Lululemon and a shuttered liquor store.
About 100 young people continued to move from store to store on Walnut Street in the heart of downtown until officers arrived and began making arrests Monday evening.
A day later, brutes made off with the safe and raided the lottery machine on a night when liquor stores were closed by authorities.
At least 18 state liquor stores were broken into, prompting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to close all 48 retail locations in Philadelphia and one in the suburb of Cheltenham on Wednesday.
Police said they had made at least 52 arrests. Burglary, theft and other charges have been filed against at least 30 people so far, all but three of whom are adults.