Annals of Health Law
ACHIEVING AN AIDS-FREE GENERATION
III. LAWS AND POLICIES CREATING BARRIERS TO SEP IMPLEMENTATION
Several existing policies create barriers to SEP implementation, including
(1) state drug paraphernalia laws rooted in the federal War on Drugs and (2)
the federal ban on funding SEPs. This section explores how these policies
impede not only SEPs, but also the goal of an AIDS-free generation.
A. State Laws Regulating Drug Paraphernalia,
Possession, Distribution, and SEPs
State statutes and regulations pose a significant barrier to clean syringe
and needle access.71 State regulation of syringe distribution and possession
began in Oregon, which passed the country’s first drug paraphernalia law.72
The Oregon legislature based its statute on the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration’s 1979 Model Drug Paraphernalia Act (“Model Act”).73 After
Oregon, thirty-seven additional states and Washington, D. C. also adopted
drug paraphernalia statutes based on the Model Act.74
71. Access to Sterile Syringes, supra note 15.
72. See OR. REV. STAT. § 475.525 (2011). This statute prohibits the sale, delivery, and
possession of “drug paraphernalia.” Id.; Non-Prescription Access, LAW, POLICY & PUBLIC
HEALTH AT TEMPLE UNIVERSITY’S BEASLEY SCHOOL OF LAW, http://www.temple.edu/
lawschool/phrhcs/ otc.htm (last updated Nov. 28, 2008).
73. The Model Drug Paraphernalia Act states: “The term ‘drug paraphernalia’ means all
equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed
for use, in . . . injecting . . . . It includes, but is not limited to: . . . (11) Hypodermic syringes,
needles and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in parenterally injected
controlled substances into the human body . . . .” MODEL DRUG PARAPHERNALIA ACT (1979)
(full text of Model Act is published in Appendix B of United States v. Main Street Distributing,
700 F.Supp 655, 671 (E. D.N. Y. 1988)); Non-Prescription Access, supra note 72.
74. For a list of the thirty-seven states, see Steven E. Gersten, Drug Paraphernalia:
Illustrative of the Need for Federal-State Cooperation in Law Enforcement in an Era of New
Federalism, 26 SW. U. L. REV.1067, 1079 n.80 (1997).
75. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas,
Vermont, and the District of Columbia explicitly authorize SEPs. See CAL. HEALTH & SAFETY
CODE § 121349 (West 2012); COLO. REV. STAT. § 25-1-520 (2010); CONN. GEN. STAT. § 19a-
124 (2011); DEL. CODE ANN. tit. 29, § 7991 (2011); HAW. REV. STAT. § 325-112 (2012); ME.
REV. STAT. tit. 22, § 1341 (2011); MD. CODE ANN., HEALTH-GEN. §§ 24-802, 24-902 (West
2013); MASS. GEN. LAWS ch. 111, § 215 (1995); N.J. STAT. ANN. § 26:5C-27 (2012); N.M.
STAT. ANN. § 24-2C-4 (West 1997); N.Y. COMP. CODES R. & REGS. tit. 10, § 80.135 (1993);
P.R. LAWS ANN. tit. 24, § 2608 (2000); R.I. GEN. LAWS § 23-11-19 (2006); TEX. GOV’T CODE
ANN. § 531.0972 (West 2007); VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 18, § 4478 (1999); D. C. CODE § 48-1103.01
(2012). Although Washington does not explicitly authorize SEPs, it recently adopted
legislation that may implicitly authorize programs. See WASH. REV. CODE § 69.50.4121
(2012); see also Spokane Cnty. Health Dist. v. Brockett, 839 P.2d 324 (Wash. 1992)