Healey gets it wrong

By EDITORIAL  |  June 28, 2006

The district attorneys of Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Norfolk Counties — all of whom strike tough-on-crime profiles — support the measure because they know that it will have no adverse health, safety, or criminal consequences. The good will outweigh the bad. If the self-styled tough guys who are on the frontline of the criminal-justice system support needle legalization, what’s Healey worried about? The answer is as depressing as it is simple: votes. To argue otherwise in a national political climate that is so clearly conservative is to defy logic.

According to AIDS Action, 39 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts have a needle-related infection — either due to the use of a dirty needle directly, or through sexual contact with someone who has contracted HIV in that way. Every day that there is a delay in putting the needle legislation into effect, more people risk — and succumb — to infection. This is not about playing politics; this is about playing with life and death.

Romney is a lost cause. At the moment, Healey appears to be one as well. That doesn’t mean she should be let off the hook. After all, there is a chance she will be elected governor. All three Democrats on the ballot support legalized needles. The thought of saving lives has not — so far — swayed the lieutenant governor. Maybe the thought of future votes will. E-mail Healey atcommunications@healeycommittee.com and tell her that she missed an opportunity to make a difference.

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