May 2, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Council Member Stephen Levin (D-Greenpoint) was arrested this morning along with other protestors after calling on Mayor de Blasio to release the results of a study on supervised drug consumption spaces for opioid addicts.
Levin and a group of protesters were arrested in an “act of civil disobedience” outside City Hall, the council member said. The Daily News reports that Levin and others were taken into custody after blocking traffic outside the building.
The study on Safer Consumption Spaces, where opioid addicts are able to consume drugs under medical supervision, was commissioned almost two years ago by the City Council. These spaces are thought to be an effective approach to addressing the opioid epidemic and curbing drug-related deaths.
But the Mayor has yet to release the report despite the April deadline he previously announced. He has only noted that the results will come out “soon”.
“Soon is not soon enough for New Yorkers who continue to die from this epidemic,” Levin, who chairs the General Welfare Committee, said.
“If it came out today, it would already be too late for the people whose lives could have been saved,” he added. “A challenge like the one we’re facing demands action.”
The Drug Policy Alliance, one of the groups behind the rally, said attempts to have de Blasio release the report have spanned three months and involved teach ins, town halls, and multiple rallies.
“The Mayor has repeatedly stated that SCS are very ‘complex,’ with his recent statements suggesting his concern on this issue lies with managing law enforcement,” the group said in a release. “Mayor de Blasio has not spoken publicly about the significant body of research showing SCS to be a profoundly successful public health intervention that have the potential to save thousands of lives.”