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Proposed Safe Consumption Treatment Site up for Debate

A hot topic debate has made its way into the City of Woodstock. A proposal for a safe consumption treatment site was put forward by Southwest Public Health. City Council will discuss this topic at their next council meeting.

WOODSTOCK - The topic of a Safe Consumption Treatment site in Woodstock is one brining about debate.

Southwest Public Health brought forth the idea of having the site come to the "Friendly City", and conducted a survey of the residents to get their thoughts.

Bryan Smith, the Chair of the Oxford Coalition for Social Justice agrees with Southwest Public Health and says that the results of the poll speak for themselves.

"Sixty-eight percent of the residents in Woodstock have said, if people need this, we should be doing this. So, safe consumption would mean a major intervention in terms health." 

In addition, when asked about how this could benefit Woodstock, Smith says it would make the city cleaner. 

"I know there is some concern about for instance discarded needles. When you have a safe consumption site the needles are not discarded in public places, because the people who are in those places have a safe place to discard them."

Councilor Mark Schadenberg put forth a notice of motion during the last City Council meeting stating it not be supported.

"When they were gonna make cannabis stores legal, cities were given the opportunity to opt in or opt-out. The main reason we did, was because it was a legal substance. I think this is a completely different scenario that has to be analyzed very closely to determine whether or not we want a safe consumption site where you have to get an exemption from the federal government to allow someone to be carrying around illicit, illegal drugs into a place of business."

Schadenberg also has concerns about the funding of the safe consumption site.

"The City of Woodstock can certainly help with safety and that's why, for example, we hired more police but the funding for this would have to come, in my opinion, from the social services of the county or higher levels of government in particular, health care."

This topic will be discussed at the next meeting scheduled for August 10th.

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