First Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 970610.01 MTJ
HOUSE BILL 971289
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVE Nichol;
also SENATOR J. Johnson.
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING EXEMPTIONS TO THE DRUG PARAPHERNALIA LAWS
TO FACILITATE THE OPERATION OF A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM AS A
STRATEGY FOR THE PREVENTION OF BLOODBORNE COMMUNICABLE DISEASES.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments which may be subsequently
Exempts possession of injection drug devices obtained
from a needle exchange program from the offense of possession
of drug paraphernalia and possession and delivery of injection
drug devices by employees and volunteer workers of a needle exchange
program from the offenses of possession, delivery, and possession
with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia. Defines "needle
exchange program". Requires a needle exchange program to
notify the health department of any county in which the program
plans to operate. Requires needle exchange programs to report
to the general assembly. Repeals the section, effective July 1,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. Legislative declaration. (1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that AIDS is a devastating disease with no known cure and is of statewide concern; that the sharing of contaminated injection equipment causes HIV infection in an increasing proportion of cases in Colorado; that needle exchange programs that exchange sterile syringes for used, contaminated syringes are an effective public health strategy in reducing the spread of HIV; that injection drug use or being the sexual partner of an injection drug user are the most significant risk factors for HIV infection among women and their unborn children in Colorado; and that of one hundred eightyfour babies born in Colorado to mothers with HIV infection since 1985, fiftytwo percent, or ninetyseven babies, were born to mothers whose sole risk for infection was injection drug use or sex with an injection drug user.
(2) The general assembly further finds and declares that federally funded studies have shown that needle exchange programs are effective in reducing the spread of the virus and providing a bridge to substance abuse treatment, and does not increase drug use. In creating the exemption in this act, the general assembly therefore will protect the public health, safety, and welfare by preventing the transmission of HIV through infected injection equipment by allowing needle exchange programs to operate in Colorado.
SECTION 2. Part 4 of article 18 of title 18, Colorado Revised Statutes, 1986 Repl. Vol., as amended, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
1818429.5. Possession, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia qualified exemption for needle exchange programs repeal. (1) FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTIONS 1818428 AND 1818429:
(a) POSSESSION OF AN INJECTION DRUG DEVICE OBTAINED FROM A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM BY A PERSON ENROLLED IN A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE THE OFFENSE OF POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA IF THE PERSON HAS AN IDENTIFICATION CARD ISSUED BY SUCH PROGRAM IN HIS OR HER POSSESSION;
(b) POSSESSION OF OR DELIVERY OF AN INJECTION DRUG DEVICE BY AN EMPLOYEE OR VOLUNTEER WORKER OF A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE THE OFFENSE OF POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, DELIVERY OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, OR POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER DRUG PARAPHERNALIA IF THE PERSON HAS AN IDENTIFICATION CARD ISSUED BY THE PROGRAM IDENTIFYING THAT PERSON AS AN EMPLOYEE OR VOLUNTEER WORKER IN HIS OR HER POSSESSION.
(2) (a) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE EXEMPTIONS IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION, A "NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM" INCLUDES A PROGRAM OPERATED BY A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION OR A LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT THAT IS TARGETED AT THE INJECTION DRUG USING POPULATION THAT PROVIDES A ONEFORONE EXCHANGE OF A STERILE SYRINGE FOR A USED SYRINGE, ENCOURAGES INJECTION DRUG USERS TO SEEK TREATMENT FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND PROVIDES REFERRALS FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT AND OTHER PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE PROGRAM. A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM SHALL ISSUE AN IDENTIFICATION CARD TO EACH PARTICIPANT IN THE PROGRAM WHICH MAY BE PRESENTED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AS VERIFICATION THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM. A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM SHALL ISSUE AN IDENTIFICATION CARD TO EACH EMPLOYEE OF OR VOLUNTEER WORKER FOR THE PROGRAM WHICH MAY BE PRESENTED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AS VERIFICATION THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS AN EMPLOYEE OF OR VOLUNTEER WORKER FOR THE PROGRAM.
(b) PRIOR TO BEGINNING OPERATIONS, A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM SHALL NOTIFY THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT OF ANY COUNTY IN WHICH THE PROGRAM PLANS TO OPERATE.
(3) NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 31, 1999, EVERY NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, AND THE CHAIRPERSONS OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE COMMITTEES ON HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, WELFARE, AND INSTITUTIONS REGARDING THE OPERATIONS OF THE PROGRAM AND THE EFFICACY OF THE PROGRAMS IN PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF DISEASE.
(4) THIS SECTION IS REPEALED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2000.
SECTION 3. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.