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Drug Safety Bill Passes Through California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, California – (April 24, 2024) – Assembly Bill 2136, authored by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles), has passed the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee on a unanimous vote moving the bill along the legislative process. Working off of existing pilot programs throughout the state, AB 2136 seeks to increase drug testing availability to determine the composition of substances.

“With overdoses on the rise and opioids like Fentanyl inserted into the drug supply, it is clear that knowing if a drug or medication is tainted or mislabeled is paramount in avoiding an overdose and death,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “This bill at its core is a health and public safety policy seeking to lift certain barriers to safe and effective testing for persons who use drugs. It is both a preventative harm reduction measure and means to better understand the ever changing illicit drug market. AB 2136 has the potential to save lives.”

“Drug checking is an important and immediate step that California can take to effectively curb overdose deaths,” said Jeannette Zanipatin, California State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance. “AB 2136 expands the tools in our public health toolbox by providing essential protections for drug checking program providers. We thank Assemblymember Jones Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) for his leadership and commitment to supporting and bolstering evidence-based public health solutions to the overdose crisis.”

"AB 2136 is a crucial step in California's fight to address the deaths related to drug overdose and to keep our people alive and our communities safe," said Bia Vieira, CEO of Women’s Foundation California. "By establishing trust and providing more opportunities for informed decision-making, we will pave the way toward a safer, healthier future."