Smoking crack cocaine is officially sanctioned at the “safe injection sites” Mayor Bill de Blasio brought to Manhattan this week in a move that’s infuriated the centers’ neighbors — and has at least one business owner packing his bags.
“People are allowed to bring the substance that they prefer to use here and they are permitted to consume the substance in the manner of their choice,” East Harlem site director Kailin See confirmed.
“We are there to make sure that no medical emergency occurs and to connect them into care if they need that,” she said, adding that many of her clients use drugs laced with fentanyl including heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, amphetamine and K2.
The nonprofit is one of two in Upper Manhattan that became the country’s first legal shooting galleries when they opened Tuesday.
And they have had an immediate effect — but maybe not the one de Blasio, who has just four weeks left in office, was hoping for as business owners still left standing try and dig out from the pandemic.
One merchant near the second center, in Washington Heights, said the junkie haven is forcing him to move his retail shop out of the neighborhood.
“Now they’re going to promote the drugs and people don’t have to worry if they get sick or they’re going to die because they’re gonna have medical people that are gonna take care of them so that they don’t overdose and die so that they can do their drugs again tomorrow?” the shop owner said.