US Attorney: Safe injection sites could be subject to federal criminal penalties

BOSTON — Supervised injection sites could draw heat from federal officials, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts Andrew Lelling.

Just weeks after saying federal officials might be willing to look the other way when it comes to recreational marijuana, Lelling issued a statement saying supervised injection sites would violate federal laws.

MORE: Mass. lawmakers using Canada's positive results to push for safe injection sites

He added, "employees and users of such a site would be exposed to federal criminal charges regardless of any state law or study."

Lelling said supervised injection sites 'normalize intravenous use of heroin and fentanyl.'

Despite evidence from pilot programs showing a 35-percent decrease in opioid related overdose deaths, many Massachusetts officials remain unconvinced of the effectiveness of supervised injection sites.

MORE: Boston examining impact of heroin injection sites