JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill to legalize needle-exchange programs.
The House voted 101-55 for the bill Monday.
Needle-exchange programs allow drug users to trade used hypodermic needles for clean ones. The aim is to stop people from reusing dirty needles or sharing needles with others, which can spread diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV.
There are needle-exchange programs in Missouri. But it’s currently a misdemeanor to provide needles for drug use.
The bill would make it legal for registered organizations to run needle exchanges in hopes of reducing the spread of disease.