You might think that a bill winding its way through Congress which would lift the ban on organizations using federal funding for needle exchange programs would be a good thing. And it would be a good thing, except for this little provision:
A bill working its way through Congress would lift a ban of more than 20 years on using federal money for needle exchange programs. But the bill would also ban federally financed exchanges from being within 1,000 feet of a school, park, library, college, video arcade or any place children might gather — a provision that would apply to a majority of the country’s approximately 200 exchanges.
“This 1,000-foot rule is simply instituting the ban in a different form,” said Rebecca Haag, executive director of the AIDS Action Council, an advocacy group based in Washington. “Clearly the intent of this rule is to nullify the lifting of the ban.”
I’m going through a mental map of Boston in my head, and I don’t think there is a single spot in the city that isn’t within “1,000 feet of a school, park, library, college, video arcade or any place children might gather.” It’s a city. Maybe if you stuck it at the top of the Prudential building–can we use the hypotenuse when calculating 1,000 feet?
Either this is a way to de facto kill the bill, or the authors are incredibly ignorant of urban areas. Of course, the two aren’t mutually exclusive…