NPR, February 6, 2019
Bobby Allyn

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After months of threats, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia launched a legal challenge on Wednesday against the nonprofit Safehouse, which is hoping to open what could be the nation's first site where people with opioid addiction can use drugs under medical supervision.

The civil lawsuit, which is jointly being pursued by Pennsylvania-based prosecutors and the Department of Justice in Washington, is the first time the federal government has intervened in the hotly debated issue of supervised injection sites. The lawsuit could become an important legal test case as about a dozen cities across the countryconsider similar proposals.

The suit comes just as Safehouse officials ramp up fundraising efforts and continue to scout a location for what they say is a medical facility that can save lives.

If federal officials succeed in court, the momentum behind Safehouse may be lost. [...]

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