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City Council to vote on needle exchange program

The San Diego city council votes tomorrow on whether to resume the city's clean needle exchange program. The vote forces city council members to take a stand on the controversial issue. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Critics of the needle exchange program fear it promotes drug use. But scientific studies consistently prove clean needle exchange programs cut down the spread of Hepetitis C and HIV, and don't increase drug use. But San Diego County's Board of Supervisors don't support the program. But in the city, mayor Jerry Sanders wants it reinstated and councilwoman Toni Atkins agrees.

Atkins: "We have a regional health crisis and we could certainly leave this to other entities to do we could leave this to the County. Obviously that hasn't worked, so we're going to step forward and do what's right I hope that my colleagues will support us on Tuesday so that we can continue this program.

The San Diego city council likely has the five votes needed to endorse the program, which is funded by a non-profit agency. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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