Casino profits may have decreased, but one area of Atlantic City commerce is booming. NBC40 reports:
TRENTON — The New Jersey needle exchange program is struggling to attract clients statewide, except for one local location.
About 175 people have enrolled in the Atlantic City program at the Oasis Drop Center since November.
My vehement opposition has been voiced both when I guest hosted a local talk show and in my February column in the Casino Connection. Eliminating the needle exchange program is a top political priority in improving the quality of life in Atlantic City.
Atlantic City City Council has allowed a needle exchange system within the city limits for less than a year. Atlantic City has enabled a system using a state grant to give multiple clean needles for every dirty (read – used) needle that a drug user trades-in. The needle exchange system makes it easier for intravenous drug users to financially support their habits. It makes sick sense – twisted logic, as it were – for a state that already pays for housing, food, and basic health care to now provide needles for citizens to shoot drugs.
The needle exchange gives new meaning to President Herbert Hoover’s old political promise of a “chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”
Let us look at the drug needle issue from another angle. It has been said – whether it is true or not is another story – “it takes a village to raise a child.” I will not want my grown children to shoot intravenous drugs. As much as I do not want this, it ultimately is my child’s personal decision. Assuming my child develops a desire for intravenous drugs, I will certainly not pay for his drugs or drug paraphernalia. How is it that state and city governments force me to pay to provide any one showing up to the Oasis Drop Center with free needles for a personal habit that I do not endorse? Second, why should any NJ resident have to pay for anyone who chooses to use drugs?
This brings us back to “it takes a village to raise a child.” What if the neighbor on the corner were giving my child a needle to shoot drugs? I would take action to stop him from enabling my child’s illegal activity. The representatives of the Atlantic City community have decided that they will encourage intravenous drug use in the City. The City has collaborated with the state to force the entire state to pay for drug users’ needles. The City has also decided that they want to market Atlantic City both as an all-purpose destination and a distribution center for drug users from any place to receive multiple unused needles in exchange for used needles.
The law says it is illegal to possess a hypodermic needle in NJ. Atlantic City’s free needle distribution in collaboration with state government say it is legal. These governmental bodies speak out of both sides of their mouths.
Parents, whether you like it or not, if your child decides to use intravenous drugs, you will be paying for their drug habit. So much for parental authority. So much for community standards. So much for law.
From Atlantic City – alluding to the Margaret Wise Brown classic – goodnight family structure, goodnight community decency, and goodnight rule of law.