N.J. assembly committee approves needle-exchange bill
October 05 2004 11:00 PM ET
The New Jersey assembly's appropriations committee on Monday approved 9-3 the Bloodborne Disease Harm Reduction Act, which would allow cites and towns in the state to operate needle-exchange programs to help lower the risk of HIV and hepatitis infections among injection drug users, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. Under the measure, which already has received approval from the assembly's health and human services committee, cities and towns could sponsor needle exchange programs that are affiliated with hospitals, clinics, or government health departments. The full assembly is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday. Lawmakers also are expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would allow the sale of syringes without a prescription. New Jersey is one of only two states that bans both needle exchange programs and over-the-counter sales of syringes.