Led by Bevilacqua, Haverhill City Council Takes Stands Against ‘Safe Injection Sites’ and Pot Cafés

Haverhill City Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier)

In an effort to make Haverhill’s position clear to the state, the City Council asked Tuesday for an ordinance to ban “safe injection sites” in the City of Haverhill and also opposed marijuana cafés.

Councilors voted to have City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. draw up the ordinance as a form of pre-emptive strike in the event the legislature and governor approve such sites. Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua introduced that proposal, saying he has learned that the state is considering pilot projects in selected Massachusetts cities.

“One of the things that I’ve understood has been moving in the legislature is to enable safe injection sites where individuals can inject illegal drugs under supervision,” he said.

The councilor said that if Haverhill doesn’t have an objection on the books when and if the state moves forward with this idea, it could find a site being forced on the city.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini said he doubts the legislature will actually pass such an law but, “In the event they do allow some safe injection sites, there will never be a safe injection site in the city of Haverhill. Never. The Board of Health won’t allow it. The City Council won’t allow it and I, most certainly, am not going to allow it.”

The council voted unanimously to have Cox draw up the ordinance that would be sent to legislators with a letter expressing the city’s position.

In a related matter, the Council voted on another proposal by Bevilacqua to prohibit marijuana cafés in Haverhill. Such businesses would allow patrons to not only but marijuana for recreational use, but also to consume it on site like bars and taverns. Once again, the Council voted unanimously to have the city solicitor draw up an ordinance prohibiting those pot cafes.

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