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Decades-old Santa Cruz needle exchange ends

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POSTED January 31, 2013 8:03 p.m.

SANTA CRUZ  (AP) — A decades-old needle exchange operation outside a Santa Cruz laundry has ended.

City Attorney John Barisone says the City Council gave him permission last week to begin code enforcement proceedings against the property owner.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel says the needle exchange, which began at the site in 1989, was most recently run by Street Outreach Supporters. There were no permits for the operation.

Barisone says the property owner told Street Outreach Supporters to stop because of resident complaints about discarded needles, illegal campsites, drug dens and other problems.

The property owner also gave police authority to cite or arrest future participants under a trespass order.

It's unclear why the unpermitted needle exchange was allowed to continue for decades.


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