Judge grants temporary restraining order against West Virginia’s needle exchange bill

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — According to the ACLU of West Virginia, a judge has granted the organization’s request for a temporary restraining order against SB 334, a state bill that that aims to establish a license application process for needle exchange programs.

The ACLU claims that SB 334 is “a constitutionally flawed bill that bans many lifesaving harm-reduction programs in West Virginia. In the suit, the ACLU said that the law could “significantly worsen the nation’s worst HIV outbreak.”

The bill was set to take effect on July 9, 2021, and it would require all new and existing syringe exchange programs to obtain licenses from the Office for Health Facility Licensure and Certification.

“If allowed to become law, SB 334 will cost lives and deprive West Virginians of numerous constitutional rights, including due process and equal protection among others,” said Loree Stark, ACLU-WV’s legal director. “The bill should be declared unconstitutional and stopped.”

The ACLU-WV tweeted on Monday that it would see the state of West Virginia in court in July.

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