- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

AUBURN, Maine (AP) - Police have threatened to arrest the founder of a Maine group called the Church of Safe Injection for distributing sterile needles during a needle exchange.

The Sun Journal reports Auburn Police told Jesse Harvey he would face a misdemeanor charge if he exchanged needles without proper certification at the event held Tuesday at First Universality Church.

Harvey responded in an email saying the group was “called on by a higher authority to do the work that we do.”

No one attended the event, which had a police presence on site.

Harvey says his program is protected under a legal gray area that allows for “secondary exchange” needle programs under state law.

Harvey says he doesn’t blame police for doing their jobs. He says “syringes should not be criminalized.”


Information from: Sun-Journal, http://www.sunjournal.com

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